UF Designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research

The University of Florida has been re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) through academic year 2024. This designation puts UF in an elite group of universities that meet the federal government’s criteria for providing educational and research opportunities in cybersecurity.

UF has held this distinction since first receiving accreditation in 2014 and will continue to hold this designation through 2024. Joseph N. Wilson, Ph.D., a CISE associate professor, coordinated the renewal effort and accepted the certificate on behalf of the department at The Colloquium – For Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June.

“This designation is an example of our commitment to serving the State of Florida and the nation in an area of extreme need,” said Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., The Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and department chair. “Cybersecurity touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives. An educated workforce is needed to address issues and threats in this area. We are committed to conducting research to address these threats and issues, as well as producing an educated workforce.”

Seals of the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security
The National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the CAE program. The goal is to “reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.” There are over 270 colleges and universities across 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico designated as CAEs in cyber defense. Institutions are designated based on their degree programs and close alignment to specific cybersecurity-related knowledge units (KUs), validated by top subject matter experts in the field.

UF CAE-R designation emphasizes graduate education and research in the following areas: Principles; Security Mechanisms/Functionality; Architectures; Assurance; Analysis; and Non-technical Information Assurance Issues.

This designation makes students at UF eligible for recruitment that might otherwise not be available to them and scholarships like the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program.

For more information about the CAE-R program, visit the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies. To learn more about FICS and the cybersecurity work being done at UF, visit fics.institute.ufl.edu.