Cal Poly Pomona is launching a Cyber Security Instructional Research Project (CSIRP) that will promote innovative teaching, research and collaboration.
The project, which integrates existing campus IT services, will be a cross-disciplinary hub that offers collaborative lab and office space, equipment and high-performance computing resources to faculty and students for cyber-security research and teaching.
Cyber security is a critical topic worldwide, with daily news reports of data breaches.
“Our faculty and students are working with large technology organizations to explore the essential themes of cyber security — how we design, develop and support IT systems that are reliable, effective and secure,” said John McGuthry, chief information officer and vice president for information technology & institutional planning. “Our new initiative leverages the university’s resources and the expertise of our faculty and students to address pressing challenges in today’s connected world.”
The CSIRP is launching with these initial services:
- Collaborative research space for faculty and shared spaces for students
- A cyber security student lab for teaching and research
- Cloud-based virtual computing, storage and lab infrastructure
- Access to high-performance computer cluster services for teaching and research
While other universities may offer similar resources, integrating a variety of services into a single hub on campus is unique, according to Peter Deutsch, chief technology officer.
Deutsch envisions CSIRP benefiting faculty and students from numerous disciplines, not just those in engineering, computer science and computer information systems.
“If you think about the wide range of types and volume of data that is out there — patient medical records, credit card info, social media accounts – these are all cross-disciplinary issues,” he said. “The cyber-security work we’re doing is very hands-on and prepares students for work in a high-demand industry.”
The first project housed by CSIRP is a student-run security operations center and malware analysis lab funded by Northrop Grumman and led jointly by computer information systems Professor Ron Pike and computer science Professor Mohammad Husain. The cross-disciplinary project involves students from both disciplines who work together to learn in the hands-on environment, prepare for the workforce, and also give back to the campus as student assistants in the information security office, according to Pike and Husain.
“IT is a service and support partner for faculty and students,” said Carol Gonzales, chief information security officer and associate vice president for IT security and compliance. “This new instructional research project provides an opportunity for our campus staff to work with faculty and students to address current and future security challenges.”
The CSIRP is launching this fall. CSIRP will have dedicated offices in Building 91 and on the fifth floor of the classroom side of the CLA Building.