University of Memphis Receives $2M Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Grant

Aug. 31, 2021 — The University of Memphis will lead a $2M research-based Cybersecurity Education Innovation project funded by the Department of Defense’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program. 

The Center for Information Assurance (CfIA) at the UofM has formed a consortium of NCAE-C institutions with the University of West Florida, North Carolina A&T State University and The Citadel to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

This multi-disciplinary consortium is designed to foster cybersecurity education and training for critical infrastructure sectors in the southeast region and the nation, according to the principal investigator, Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, UofM Hill Professor in Cybersecurity and director of the Center for Information Assurance. This is a two-year project with a yearly effort of $1M approved as part of the cooperative agreement.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, critical infrastructure industrial control systems such as water, electricity, gas and traffic systems have become key targets for many adversarial attacks from organized threat actors.

The overall project goal is to design and develop a multi-disciplinary critical infrastructure cybersecurity program addressing the technical needs of public utility operations and emergency decision-makers. A successful outcome of this project will create a strong southeast regional coalition, leveraging the NCAE's expertise in cybersecurity to assist NCAE-C students (the future workforce), state and local government and critical infrastructure industry partners in contending with evolving threats.

CfIA co-Directors Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta (Computer Science) and Dr. James McGinnis (Engineering Technology), along with faculty members Dr. Mohd Hasan Ali (Electrical) and Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw (Education), will be leading initiatives on behalf of the University of Memphis.

For further details contact CfIA staff at cfia@memphis.edu or 901.678.3916/4271.