UNH Celebrates NSA Designation, New Cybersecurity Center

NBCUniversal, Inc.

We frequently hear of cyberattacks around the world and here in Connecticut, whether it’s a school system or a major company.

Those cyberattacks are always a threat and the University of New Haven is taking the lead in fighting them with its growing cybersecurity program, recently awarded by the National Security Agency.

“Since 2013 we’ve been ramping up cybersecurity at the university and our enrollment has gone up 300 percent,” said Abe Baggili, director of the University of New Haven’s new Samuel S. Bergami Cybersecurity Center.

That center will help students and the school continue to grow. Last fall was the largest incoming class of cybersecurity students at the university.

UNH Cybersecurity Program faculty, and others, join Samuel Bergami (fourth from left) in the opening of the Samuel S. Bergami Cybersecurity Center in Maxcy Hall.

“I think it’s great, it’s giving me so many more opportunities as a student,” said Samuel Zurowski, a junior studying computer science and cybersecurity.

The program is the only one in the state named by the NSA as a center of academic excellence in cybersecurity operations. It’s one of only 21 schools nationwide.

“They’re just being taught to think differently, you know, examine all avenues,” said Diane M. Janosek, NSA training director. She joined the university for the Cybersecurity Center grand opening.

“The NSA is so excited for the University of New Haven’s designation as a center of academic excellence in cybersecurity operations. It really requires a lot of demonstration of their commitment, quality of education, the dedication of their teachers, so it’s a really exciting day,” said Janosek.

The new center will allow students to explore research and educational opportunities as they learn about cybercrimes, forensics and compete in national hacking events.  

“There’s so many new things, new skills that you have to develop in this type of field that just going to the classroom isn’t enough. You have to go outside of the classroom,” said Zurowski.  

School officials say 100 percent of the students here go to graduate school or find work helping to protect against online attacks.

“The way to curb this trend is to create a workforce that is absolutely capable of tackling these issues head-on,” said Baggili.

He adds that following the opening of the Samuel S. Bergami Cybersecurity Center, the next step for the university is to turn the cybersecurity programs into a School of Cybersecurity.

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