UTSA awarded $3.1 million for cyber-security program development

Funding helps states and communities train and develop cyber-security programs



UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security Director Greg White instructs administrators from 31 states on how to develop and conduct cyber-security training exercises. The UTSA center hosted "Dark...
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(San Antonio) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) has been awarded a three-year, $3.1 million competitive training grant from the Department of Homeland Security to support state and community efforts in establishing cyber-security training and development programs. The grant expands on an initial $1 million in DHS funding in 2004 to train communities to develop and conduct their own exercises.

"We appreciate the Department of Homeland Security's continuing support in recognizing UTSA's efforts to assist state and local governments in the prevention of cyber-terror attacks," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

Established in 2001, CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field. The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency. CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides security training.

"As one of only three DHS training partners in the nation working in cybersecurity, we feel this increased funding supports our efforts to lead and develop models that DHS can recommend states and communities to adopt," said Greg White, director of UTSA CIAS.

Earlier this year, CIAS personnel participated in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington, D.C. The center was selected after leading the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio in 2002 and 2003, bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber-security exercise.

Additionally, CIAS has conducted cyber-security exercises for several communities throughout the U.S. and Texas. CIAS personnel have worked on infrastructure assurance and security issues for financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas communities, and the chemical sectors in Houston, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami and Baltimore.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the premier institutions of higher education in South Texas and one of the fastest growing universities in the state. One of nine academic universities and six health institutions that comprise the UT System, UTSA is the second largest institution in the system. Celebrating its 37th anniversary, UTSA serves more than 28,500 students enrolled in 62 bachelor's, 43 master's and 19 doctoral degree programs.

Programs are offered through the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, and Sciences, and the Graduate School. A Top 100 Hispanic-serving institution, UTSA is ranked among the top 10. A university of access and excellence, UTSA is committed to research and discovery, teaching and learning, and public service.

UTSA'S CENTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE ASSURANCE AND SECURITY HISTORY AND FACT SHEET

  • Established in 2001, CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field. The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency. CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides educational training.

  • In 2002-2003, UTSA's CIAS lead the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber security exercise at the community level.

  • Over the last five years, UTSA's CIAS has been awarded more than $12 million in Defense Appropriations bills to support community Cybersecurity Attack and Defend Exercises and Infrastructure Assurance and Security Research. Additionally, the CIAS has been awarded over $4 million from the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Grants and Training to develop training materials on cyber exercises for the community.

  • UTSA's CIAS is a leading force in Cyber Security Exercises having conducted sector, community and state exercises.

  • The CIAS has conducted cyber security exercises for the financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas, information technology and chemical sectors in Houston, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore and Oklahoma.

  • Community exercises have been conducted in San Antonio, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Del Rio, TX; Hampton Roads, VA and Dayton, OH.

  • The first State Cyber Security Exercise was conducted in July 2006 for the State of Texas. This cyber security exercise incorporated three cities: Plano, Tyler and Austin.

  • In February 2006, the CIAS was invited to participate in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington D.C. The CIAS was acknowledged for it's expertise in representing the community piece for this national exercise.

  • In April 2005, UTSA's CIAS hosted the first Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition comprised of all Texas Schools. Texas A&M won.

  • In April 2006, UTSA's CIAS hosted the first National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition won by The University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The five competing teams won their regional competitions held nationwide. The five regional's were modeled after UTSA's CIAS Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

  • UTSA is the first Texas University to receive the designation of "Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" by the National Security Agency (NSA). The designation means UTSA's curriculum and faculty meet or exceeds NSA standards to teach information-assurance security and makes the university eligible to apply for grants from NSA and the National Science Foundation.

    Established in 2005, The Institute for the Protection of American Communities (IPAC) was created to bring together the University's capabilities and expertise in addressing solutions to security challenges, in cyber security, chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats. The IPAC is the umbrella organization for The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), the UTSA Center of Excellence in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing, Education and Research (CEBBER) and the Center for Response and Security Engineering and Technology (CRSET).


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