TU implements new cybersecurity program

Major donations assist in funding TU’s next biggest advancement in cybersecurity research.
More than ever, technology has become an essential part of our continuously-developing society. With constant upgrades to its behavior, protocols and abilities, humanity itself has begun to evolve in order to incorporate it further into our daily lives. However, as technology stretches beyond what was thought to have been possible, malicious groups and individuals are also adapting to the changes. Cyberspace, the dimension in which many aspects of our lives are stored — our grades, social media profiles, job applications, whole identities — is a central hub for data brokers and other groups who seek to harm unsuspecting internet users by stealing or negatively affecting their information.

In order to combat the growing number of threats to individual safety on the internet, the presence of cybersecurity has become a vital part of protecting those on the web. This is especially so for corporations of all sizes, which would be majorly affected by data breaches and other harmful ways of their information getting accessed and shared by unauthorized individuals. Due to its growing importance in society, The University of Tulsa, along with many other institutions, has curated an objectively impressive cybersecurity program that instructs students on how to apply security principles and practices for their clients and future employers to maintain operations in the presence of these risks and threats. This career path is extremely in demand due to the growing need for a safe environment online. Taken from the TU website:

“For more than two decades, The University of Tulsa has been at the forefront of cybersecurity research and education. TU has been a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education since 2000 — one of the first 14 institutions awarded this distinction. TU also is recognized by the federal government as a CAE in IA Research and Cyber Operations. . . . The University of Tulsa is now ranked in the Top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. TU came in at No. 23, tied with Harvard, NYU, UC Santa Barbara and Virginia Tech in this important and growing field, according to the 2022 ratings.”

Such prestige precedes the development and implementation of TU’s newest organization this past summer: The Oklahoma Cyber Innovation Institute, which will focus on developing, testing and deploying cyber research outcomes and technology developments. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act with a matched donation from the George Kaiser Foundation, TU is launching the institute with an initial $24 million. These funds will be utilized through technology and talent procurement, necessary renovations to develop the institute and the development of research efforts and programs. The university is also anticipating an additional $50 million in funding through donations from various sources as it continues to take shape.

The development of the institute is one of the steps that TU has taken in order to ensure that the future is armed with many individuals who are able to defend society from malevolent groups that are tied to disrupting the safety of cyberspace. The OCII, along with similar institutional organizations, will seek to fulfill the growing need for employees within the cybersecurity workforce. Within the last three years, TU launched the School of Cyber Studies and another program called Cyber Fellows. While the former created an umbrella gathering of similar degree options within the Cybersecurity field, the latter provides many potentially lucrative resources for accepted graduate students: internships, research experience, living stipends and chances to work alongside professionals in the field.

All three initiatives set up by TU provide many educational opportunities for students, from potentially all around the world. In a society heavily backed by technology, the development of such programs by the university will hopefully continue to inspire individuals to learn how to keep cyberspace safe for all.

Post Author: Hannah Moua