USD to Open Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology to Combat Advanced Persistent Threats to Nation

SAN DIEGO, CA — Imagine these scenarios: A massive data breach puts the personal information of four million federal employees at risk. Syrian rebels hack into the U.S. electric grid and cause a blackout in a major city. And a major retailer pays $10 million to settle a lawsuit related to the breach of credit card account information.

As cyber attacks threaten the security, prosperity and privacy of the United States and its citizens, the University of San Diego announces the creation of its Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology to address these challenges through education, training and research.

“What makes our new center unique is its comprehensive focus on all aspects of cyber security,” said Jason Lemon, Dean of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of San Diego. “The Center’s activities will encompass education and training through a full range of educational opportunities. The community can access USD’s cyber security expertise through degree and certificate programs, inviting USD’s cyber experts to participate in projects focusing on the evaluation and development of their own systems and strategies to mitigate cyber threats, and developing internal leadership on cyber security IT, cyber security law, forensics and incident response. There simply is no other university bringing together this kind of expertise and offering so many different degrees, programs, and access points like USD’s center does.”

Currently in the planning approval stage, the Center is preparing to support a Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering offered by USD’s School of Engineering and a Master of Science in Cyber Security Information Technology Leadership offered by the university. The Cyber IT Leadership degree will be available fully online. Program websites will be available when campus and accreditation approvals are received. Several certificate programs for public enrollment will also be available to address a variety of subjects such as cyber security, risk management, cyber intelligence, cyber security assessment and testing, and cyber security policy and law.

The forthcoming degree programs will be designed for working professionals, and will be taught by USD faculty and cyber professionals who bring decades of current and real-world experience to their students.

The Center will also advance research, discovery and development of the tools to assist consumers, corporations, nonprofits, utilities, and the military find the solutions needed to solve the many challenges presented by cyber attacks.

“By combining the strengths and vision of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and USD’s Professional and Continuing Education, the Center is poised to be extremely nimble and creative in meeting the needs of students, serving a broad base of individual, corporate, public, private and military stakeholders who seek cyber security education and solutions, and in responding quickly in this dynamic and ever-changing field,” said Chell Roberts, Dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

The Center also will be a key player in the San Diego region’s efforts to be recognized as the National Center of Cyber Security Excellence, a goal the City of San Diego has established. USD’s Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology will actively contribute to this dynamic segment of the local economy that now accounts for more than $1.6 billion of economic activity each year in San Diego.

Veteran cyber security expert and educator, Winnie Callahan, will lead USD’s new Center. John Callahan will be the program director for the new degree programs. Winnie Callahan led the design, build-out, marketing and program development as the Executive Director of The Peter Kiewit Institute in Nebraska, recognized as one of the most successful collaboration of engineering, information technology and business immersion in the nation.