In the era of digital transformation, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important. With the growing risk of data breaches, hacking, and cyber attacks, organizations are looking for skilled professionals who can protect their systems and networks. To meet this demand, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have developed a program to recognize institutions offering cybersecurity degree programs—the Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C). This program provides recognition for academic institutions that offer rigorous courses in cybersecurity and helps students identify quality programs. In this article, we’ll discuss what CAE-C is and how it can help you find a quality education in cybersecurity.
Overview of the CAE-C program
The CAE-C program is designed to support institutions of higher education in the development of their cyber defense programs. The program provides funding for the expansion and improvement of existing programs, as well as for the creation of new programs. Additionally, the CAE-C program offers training and technical assistance to help institutions meet the National Cybersecurity Education Standards.
List of CAE-C designated institutions
There are currently over 150CAE-C designated institutions across the United States. These institutions have been recognized by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security for their outstanding cybersecurity programs.
The CAE-C program is designed to promote excellence in cybersecurity education and research. The program also supports the development of a more robust and skilled workforce in this critical area.
The following is a list of CAE-C designated institutions:
- University of Alabama
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- Arizona State University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Northern Arizona University
- University of Arizona
- Chapman University
- Cyber security program is one of only four programs to receive full accreditation from both the NSA and Homeland Security.
- Western Carolina University
How the CAE-C program benefits students and faculty?
The CAE-C program benefits students and faculty by providing funding for cybersecurity research and educational programs, as well as promoting collaboration between academia and industry. The program also helps to raise awareness of cybersecurity issues among the general public.
The importance of cybersecurity in the 21st century
The 21st century is an age of digital transformation, and with that comes increased risks to cybersecurity. As our lives move online and more businesses go digital, the threat of cyberattacks grows. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have strong cybersecurity measures in place.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting electronic information from unauthorized access or theft. It includes the prevention of threats like viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. It also encompasses the protection of data and systems from cyberattacks.
There are many reasons why cybersecurity is so important in the 21st century. First, our lives are increasingly moving online. We do everything from banking to shopping to communicating with friends and family online. This puts our personal information at risk if we don’t have proper security measures in place.
Second, businesses are going digital at an accelerated rate. More and more companies are using cloud-based services and applications to store data and run their operations. This makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can result in massive financial losses and damage to their reputation.
Third, the rise of interconnected devices has created a new attack surface for hackers to exploit. The “Internet of Things” refers to the growing network of devices that are connected to the internet, including everything from smart thermostats to medical devices. These devices are often not as secure as traditional computers, making them easy targets for hackers looking to gain access to sensitive data
What is a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity?
The Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) program is a national initiative to identify and support academic institutions with existing cybersecurity programs that lead the way in developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. These institutions provide an environment where students can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the workforce prepared to meet the challenges of cyber security. The CAE-C program is also designed to help build a stronger, more cohesive community of cybersecurity educators and researchers, who can collaborate and share best practices.
CAE program structure
The CAE program is divided into four main sections: the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness (CSEA) section, the Cybersecurity Research and Development (CR&D) section, the Cybersecurity Operations (CSO) section, and the Cybersecurity Analysis and Assessment (CAA) section. Each of these sections has a different focus and goal.
The CSEA section is responsible for developing and delivering educational programs and awareness campaigns to improve cybersecurity knowledge and understanding among students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The CR&D section supports basic and applied research in cybersecurity, as well as development of new tools, techniques, and processes to improve cybersecurity. The CSO section manages operations related to cybersecurity, including incident response, threat intelligence, and security monitoring. Finally, the CAA section provides analysis and assessment of cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.
National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD)
The National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) were established to improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture by developing a more robust and capable cyber workforce. The CAE-CD designation is awarded to institutions of higher education that demonstrate excellence in cybersecurity education, research, and outreach.
As of October 2019, there are 85 CAE-CD designees across the United States. These institutions have committed to meeting rigorous standards for cybersecurity education and providing their students with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the workforce as cybersecurity professionals.
The CAE-CD program is jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NSA and DHS provide resources and support to help CAE-CD designees meet their goals. This includes funding for scholarships, faculty development, curriculum development, and educational outreach programs.
CAE-CD designees are expected to meet specific criteria in each of the three core areas of focus: education, research, and outreach. To be designated as a CAE-CD, an institution must:
- Offer degrees in cyber defense or related fields at the bachelor’s level or above;
- Conduct significant research in cyber defense; and
- Engage in high-quality outreach activities that promote awareness of cyber defense issues among students, industry partners, government agencies, and the general public.
National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO)
There are currently six National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. These institutions provide rigorous cybersecurity education to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, preparing them for careers in government and industry.
The CAE-CO program began in 2010 with just two designated schools, but has since grown to include six. The CAE-CO designation is reserved for institutions that offer comprehensive educational programs in cyber operations, covering topics such as offensive and defensive operations, intelligence gathering, incident response, and forensics. Schools must also meet strict criteria related to faculty expertise, curriculum development, and research.
The six National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations are:
- Air Force Institute of Technology
- Naval Postgraduate School
- University of Tulsa
- Mississippi State University
- University of Nebraska Omaha
- Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg
National Centers for Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R)
CAE-Rs are federally designated institutions that have demonstrated excellence in research in specific areas of science and engineering. The CAE-R designation is intended to recognize and promote institutions that are leaders in their field, and to encourage collaboration between them and other institutions.
CAE-Rs are selected by a peer review process managed by the National Science Foundation (NSF). To be considered for selection, an institution must first submit a proposal outlining its research strengths and facilities. The NSF then convenes a panel of experts to review the proposals and select the CAE-Rs.
The CAE-R designation is valid for five years, after which an institution must reapply to maintain its status. There are currently 21 CAE-Rs nationwide.
The CAE-R designation confers several benefits on designated institutions, including:
- Eligibility for NSF funding opportunities reserved for CAE-Rs;
- Recognition by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Homeland Security Research; and
- Access to DHS resources, including personnel, equipment, and information.
Why CAEs are important to students
Information security is one of the most important and in-demand skillsets in the job market today. Because of this, students who are interested in pursuing a career in information security should consider attending a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C). CAE-Cs are institutions that have been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as having outstanding cyber programs. There are currently over 200 CAE-Cs across the United States.
There are many benefits to attending a CAE-C. Firstly, students will receive a top-notch education in cybersecurity. Secondly, they will be able to network with other students and professionals who are interested in information security. Thirdly, CAE-Cs often offer scholarships and other financial assistance to help offset the cost of tuition. Lastly, attending a CAE-C can give students a leg up when it comes time to find a job after graduation. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have attended a CAE-C because they know that these candidates have received quality training.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in information security, attending a CAE-C is a great way to get started. Make sure to research different schools to find one that best fits your needs and interests.
Why CAE designation is important to schools?
CAE designation is important to schools because it allows them to tap into a network of resources and expertise that can help them develop and improve their cybersecurity programs. The CAE program is run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and it recognizes universities that have demonstrated excellence in cybersecurity education and research.
CAE-designated schools have access to a number of benefits, including funding for scholarships and research, partnerships with government agencies and industry, and technical assistance from the NSA and DHS. These benefits help CAE-designated schools attract and retain top talent, build world-class cybersecurity programs, and contribute to the advancement of the cybersecurity field.
The Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) program offers institutions a way to gain recognition for their cybersecurity education and research. CAE-Cs have access to important resources, such as scholarships and internships, which can help provide students with the skills necessary to fill the growing demand for qualified professionals in this field. As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats that it can pose–and having competent cybersecurity experts is essential. With the CAE-C program providing top quality instruction and training, we are better prepared than ever before when it comes to protecting ourselves from malicious cyber attacks.