Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
August 4, 2014 - The University of Memphis has received a National Science Foundation
(NSF) grant for a project to help community college teachers and students learn best
practices in defending cyberspace.
The NSF awarded $364,864 for a collaborative project with Jackson State Community
College, “Puzzle-Based Cybersecurity: Learning to Enhance Defensive Skills of Front-Line
Technicians.” The study will be led by Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, director of the U of
M’s Center for Information Assurance and professor of computer science.
Keeping computers and information systems secure is a major challenge. Business, industry
and government need well-prepared technicians who can prevent, detect and investigate
cybersecurity breaches. The growth of cyber threats has created a need for more professionals
who have appropriate, specific knowledge and skills. The goal of the project is to
develop innovative “puzzles,” using specialized software, to help students learn the
concepts of and approaches to cybersecurity.
“Puzzles give new insight to out-of-box thinking and stimulate cognitive thinking
skills,” said Dasgupta. “We can stay one step ahead of the bad guys who are always
coming up with new ways to steal online or break in.”
The project is scheduled for three years.