Jun 6, 2018

NSA designates UTSA a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

Reprinted from UTSA Today


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Fundamental (CAE-Cyber Operations) for 2018 through 2023. The designation recognizes UTSA’s ability to thoroughly prepare workforce-ready professionals to protect the nation’s information infrastructure.

“The designation of CAE for Cyber Operations is a major accomplishment for the Computer Science program and UTSA’s cyber initiative,” said Rajendra Boppana, professor of the UTSA Department of Computer Science who oversees cyber operations. “To meet the requirements and to achieve the designation, we have introduced and taught more than six new courses in the last three years. We also introduced a new Cyber Operations Track which is expected to be available in the fall of 2018.”

Boppana says the designation attests to the quality and breadth of the undergraduate computer science program at UTSA and establishes UTSA Computer Science as one of the top programs in cyber operations at the undergraduate level. In addition to the Cyber Operations Track, the UTSA undergraduate program in Computer Science also offers concentrations in Cybersecurity, Data Science, Cloud and Systems, and Software Engineering.

With participation in the National CAE program, UTSA will join the NSA with assistance in building a future workforce knowledgeable and trained in specialized intelligence, military and law-enforcement cyber operations (e.g. collection, exploitation and response) to enhance the national security of the United States.

In addition to offering a robust foundational computer science curriculum, UTSA offers classes in virtualization, risk management of information systems, software security of analysis, digital forensics, applied cryptography, user experience/human computer interface security, offensive cyber operations, cloud security/cloud computing, computer architecture, secure SW development, and systems programming.

Students interested in graduate studies may also pursue M.S. and Ph.D. programs with concentrations in Cybersecurity in the Department of Computer Science. The programs are taught by a number of nationally-recognized computer science faculty.

Additionally, the UTSA Department of Computer Science is home of the Institute for Cyber Security, which brings exceptional expertise in cyber security models, architectures, protocols and technologies, and world-class laboratories to basic and applied research, and the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, which is developing the world’s foremost center for multidisciplinary education and development of operational capabilities in infrastructure assurance and security. Both UTSA research centers integrate efforts from academia, government and industry to position the university as a leader in the advancement of state and community cyber security capabilities and collaboration.

Receipt of the CAE-Cyber Operations designation makes UTSA one of the few universities in the nation to hold three National Center of Excellence designations from the National Security Agency, further solidifying its dominance as a leader in cybersecurity.

In 2002, UTSA received the CAE-Information Assurance Education designation, following the 2001 creation of its Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security.

In 2009, the university first received the CAE-Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) designation, which recognizes universities that encourage students to pursue higher-level doctoral research in cybersecurity. When the program later evolved in 2014 to include cyber defense, UTSA received the CAE-Cyber Defense designation, based on its research expertise in digital forensics.

The CAE-Cyber Summit will present designation certificates during an awards ceremony on June 6 at the National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Ala.