UCCS holds conferences on National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center

May 9, 2016

Kyle Guthrie
[email protected]

UCCS held two meetings regarding their involvement with the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center on May 3 and 4.

The seminars were held with the intent to brief the public about the development of the NCIC and UCCS’ role in the project.

The NCIC will be composed of three branches: the cyber institute, the rapid response center and the cyber research education and training center.

Edward Anderson, interim executive director of the NCIC and executive director for Strategic Military, Space, Science and Security Initiatives at UCCS, outlined what the rapid response center would accomplish for local businesses.

“When we talk about (the Rapid Response Center), what we mean is a one-stop shop for companies that get breached or attacked and need help,” Anderson said.

He added that the RRC is different because they are going to focus on smaller businesses.

“(We are going to focus) on small and medium businesses who just do not have the resources to organically put in their own cyber security capabilities.”

Martin Wood, the senior vice chancellor for University Advancement, explained that workforce development is the primary goal of the NCIC.

“The focus area that we had heard from everybody was workforce development,” Wood said. “The single biggest problem right now in cyber security is finding a talented, skilled, workforce to actually deal with the problems that are happening by the minute.”

Wood also said that while UCCS will be heavily involved in the creation and development of the NCIC, the center is not a part of the university.

“The National Cyber Intelligence Center is not a UCCS function. UCCS is very involved; it is in our building, and we are going to be highly engaged… but we want to put it out there right now…this is not our thing,” said Wood.

Anderson said that while the university and local businesses would benefit from the creation of the center, the aim of the NCIC is to address issues on a federal and military level.

“The overarching intent is to collaborate with the private sector, local, state, military and federal agencies to support and educate the civilian population and to better prepare the state’s assets and national assets in cyber security,” Anderson explained.

The NCIC was created following a request from the U.S. Army Reserves, which brought up the idea to the university about the need for cyber experts in the field.

Dan Dandapani, dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences said that in 2014 the U.S. Army Reserves asked UCCS for around 40,000 professionals that are trained in cyber security for the military.

“What we did was identify six other universities around the country that had the same certification as we did…We decided to call in a meeting of all these universities last year and had a two-day seminar session as to what we could do to fill this request.”

While students may not feel like the cyber world may apply to them, Wood concluded by re-iterating that we are all linked to cybersecurity in some way.

“Someone the other day told me… ‘I have no interest in cyber,’” Wood said. “And I said, ‘Well, you should go live in a cave or go in your basement and never come out again, because you have probably engaged in cyber nine or 10 times today, because if you have been on your phone or computer, or used your credit or debit card, that all deals with cyber security.’”