March 13, 2020

NDSU cybersecurity programs, students win honors


NDSU has been recognized for the excellence of its cybersecurity programs, in several areas. NDSU received the top award for North American cybersecurity education in the large organization category. Several efforts at NDSU and individuals associated with NDSU also were recognized.

Over the course of the last year, NDSU has been a worldwide leader in cybersecurity education. The university has been recognized as a National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research. NDSU also has expanded its cybersecurity course offerings, run a summer camp for high school students with a cybersecurity interest, taken top spots at multiple cybersecurity competitions, sponsored multiple college student-focused events and been recognized for cybersecurity education innovations.

“Congratulations to NDSU for being recognized as the Gold award winner in the Best Cybersecurity Education Provider - NORTH AMERICA (between 5,000-9,999 employees) category of the 2020 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards,” said Holger Schulze, CEO of Cybersecurity Insiders and founder of the 400,000-member Information Security Community on LinkedIn that jointly produce the awards program. “With over 500 entries in more than 90 award categories, the 2020 awards are highly competitive and all winners truly reflect the very best in today's cybersecurity industry.”

In addition to the institutional award for excellence in cybersecurity education, the NDSU Cyber Bison Student Cybersecurity Competitions Team was also recognized with a Gold award in the teams category, for their competition winnings and teamwork. Other awardees in the teams category include Honeywell Corp., Vigilant Asia, NTT Ltd., CoNetrix and ControlScan.

Several NDSU volunteers also were recognized for their work and volunteerism. Joshua Bartholomew (Real Truck), Mike Saunders (Red Siege Information Security) and Tim Jensen (AppSec Consulting) were recognized in the Cybersecurity Professional of the Year category. Saunders and Jensen also were recognized in the Cybersecurity Consultant of the Year category.

“This recognition of NDSU’s cybersecurity programs is a clear indication of the quality of the programs as well as the dedication and effort of all of the students, volunteers, faculty and staff that have driven their success,” said computer science assistant professor Jeremy Straub, who also serves as cybersecurity program coordinator. “We’re so pleased that all of these efforts have been recognized in this way and truly excited about what the future for cybersecurity at NDSU will hold.”

In addition to the education provider, student team and volunteer awards, NDSU staff members Ben Bernard, Enrique Garcia and Jeff Gimbel were recognized in the Cybersecurity Professional of the Year category, both for their work in information technology and security and for their volunteer efforts. NDSU’s cybersecurity curriculum development project and the ‘Hack NDSU’ event were recognized in the projects category. Straub was recognized in the Cybersecurity Educator of the Year category and in the Cybersecurity Journalist of the Year category, for articles he has written on cybersecurity topics.

The NDSU Department of Computer Science offers a 12-credit graduate certificate in cybersecurity as well as an option in cybersecurity as part of its master’s and doctoral programs in both computer science and software engineering. NDSU also offers a focus on cybersecurity education within its computer science doctoral program, designed to help respond to the shortage of skilled university-level instructors across North Dakota, the upper great plains and nationally. In addition, NDSU offers a departmental recognition in cybersecurity at the undergraduate level. Research and educational activities are conducted in a 1,200-square-foot dedicated cybersecurity facility within the Quentin Burdick Building on the NDSU campus.

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