RIT to develop cybersecurity courses using warfare strategies

Intel gift aims at transforming cybersecurity education

A gift from Intel will allow Rochester Institute of Technology faculty to transform computing security education by developing new cybersecurity curriculum on strategic thinking and tactics.

The $25,000 gift will fund new servers to host a computing infrastructure in which students are able to experiment and perform labs involving strategic thinking and tactics in cybersecurity attack and defense. Using the infrastructure, faculty will develop at least two course modules that will be used in classes at RIT and shared with the broader security education community.

The project aims to give future computing security professionals the capabilities to apply strategic thinking and conventional warfare tactics in cybersecurity scenarios.

“In high level cybersecurity attacks and defenses, knowledge, skills and tools are not always enough to ensure a mission success,” said Bo Yuan, an associate professor and chair of RIT’s Department of Computing Security. “A lot of cyberattacks are about deception—and professionals need to be more vigilant and aware that these strategies might be played against them.”

The new curriculum, intended for upper-classmen and graduate students, will teach traditional strategic thinking and tactics in conventional warfare, including game theory. Students will analyze how these tactics are used during cyberattacks and learn how to apply them for defense purposes. Through simulated cybersecurity environments and infrastructures, students can practice and experiment with the strategies and tactics.

“The nation is in dire need of highly qualified cybersecurity professionals in both the private sector and government agencies,” said Scott Buck, University Program Manager at Intel. “Intel is proud to work together with RIT to make contributions to society and help individuals, organizations and government agencies to fend off attackers and mitigate security threats.”

The curriculum is expected to be finished in Spring 2017. The course modules will include lecture materials, lab exercises and instructions.

“The security curriculum created under this project will enhance student learning experience and strengthen the computing security program at RIT,” said Yuan. “We are very thankful to Intel for working with us to better prepare our future cybersecurity professionals.”

In 2012, RIT became the first university in the nation to create an academic department solely dedicated to computing security. RIT’s Department of Computing Security is housed within RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

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