March 10, 2011
National cybersecurity partnership with industry protects user data, grows local economy
Computing science experts at Kansas State University are helping lead the way in the country's cybersecurity efforts. A newly formed partnership between K-State and several national technology and marketing companies will ensure that digital information stays a little safer.
"Our continual use of technology in daily life emphasizes the importance of the cybersecurity field and collaboration in it," said K-State President Kirk Schulz. "This partnership is another step toward K-State becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025, and we look forward to sharing the expertise of many of our nationally recognized faculty who are focused on protecting the data of all technology users. Additionally, these relationships with industry will enhance K-State's reputation and academic programs."
Partnered with K-State are National Technical Systems Inc., CABEM Technologies LLC; Knowledge Based Economic Development, and the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization, or NISTAC.
Lending their expertise from K-State's computing and information sciences department are Simon Ou and Eugene Vasserman, assistant professors; David Gustafson, professor; and Gurdip Singh, professor and department head.
"It's very exciting to see the parties involved in this new consortium," said John English, dean of the College of Engineering at K-State. "This synergistic relationship capitalizes on the strengths of each party, and the phenomenal world-class cybersecurity tools and ideas that will come out of it."
Members plan to maximize skill sets by focusing on four areas of cybersecurity: education and training, research, development and technology transfer, and certification and validation.
"Concentrating on those goals, ranging from research to outreach, allows this consortium to provide leadership in addressing security and vulnerability challenges facing our industrial and governmental cyber infrastructure," Singh said. Similar thoughts are being expressed in the business sector.
"The field is vitally important to our national security and the economy, and National Technical Systems Inc. is proud to be on the leading edge of this technology and to participate in this talented consortium," said Dwight Moore, chief operating officer at National Technical Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NTSC), a company in Calabasas, Calif., that provides testing, quality and engineering services to most of the nation's large technology businesses.
"Cybersecurity is one of the most important technology challenges facing homeland security and the global economy. As a team we look forward to making significant and ongoing contributions to secure our cyber environment," said Jay Fredkin, founder of CABEM, a Boston-based company that develops custom software and security solutions and products.
The partnership is creating more than data security. It's also creating new jobs and new revenue in the Manhattan area.
"The creation of this cybersecurity partnership represents a significant win in our community's strategy to attract and create high-paying, knowledge-based jobs," said Lyle Butler, president and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. As research capabilities and collaborations are built upon and expanded, Butler said even more gains are expected in the area over the coming years.
The first phase is the hiring of a cybersecurity engineering position at K-State, who will lead the consortium's efforts.
K-State's department of computing and information sciences has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence and Security Research by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. K-State's nationally recognized College of Engineering is the largest and most comprehensive engineering college in the state.
NISTAC commercializes universities' intellectual properties, and Knowledge Based Economic Development supports entrepreneurship in the region.