By Barbara Abney, UCF Today

The U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence will look to the University of Central Florida for training and research support as a result of a new memorandum of understanding.

UCF is internationally recognized for its strengths in modeling and simulation, and a specific program in Modeling and Simulation of Behavioral Cybersecurity will be of direct support to the Army. Photo credit: UCF Today

In addition to workforce development, the memorandum enables the Army to utilize laboratories at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training to support research in behavioral cybersecurity, data analytics and other related areas of expertise.

UCF is qualified to provide the training because of its status as a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by both the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

“We have seen a progression of research and training in cybersecurity within the Army and now they have to focus on workforce development,” said Bruce Caulkins, a retired Army colonel and director of the Modeling & Simulation of Behavioral Cybersecurity program at UCF’s institute.

According to the memorandum between the Cyber Center of Excellence and UCF, the university will provide specific training modules to protect the National Information Infrastructure, the networks, hardware, software and databases required to make information accessible via the internet. The training will include topics such as data analysis, cyberdefense, cyberthreats, cryptography, network defense and intrusion detection/prevention systems among others.

“UCF is uniquely qualified to provide a wide range of educational support in cyber, both from a technical and human-centric point of view,” said Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “The many strengths of UCF’s program within CECS are centered on the collaboration of education professionals who cover a wide array of highly technical subjects and research areas.”

For the past two years the university has been recognized by Aviation Week magazine for producing more graduates who get jobs in aerospace and defense companies than any other university.

And the UCF Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Team, formed by students in January 2013, won first place in the 2013 Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition during its inaugural season against teams that had competed consistently for the previous eight years. The team twice also defended its national championship title and won the national CCDC competitions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

UCF is internationally recognized for its strengths in modeling and simulation, and a specific program in Modeling and Simulation of Behavioral Cybersecurity will be of direct support to the Army, said Randall Shumaker, director of IST at UCF where much of the training will take place.