Fairfield University is making strides toward a safer internet. The School of Engineering has been award a $100,000 grant to build a cybersecurity laboratory on campus, projected to be complete during the Fall 2018 semester.

According to Dr. Adrian Rusu-Sprincenatu Ph.D., chair of the Computer Science and Engineering department, the grant was obtained through an application to the George I. Alden Trust Foundation. He worked with Kathleen Freis and Michael Prescott, director and assistant director of the Foundation Relations department respectively, to receive the grant

For those who are unfamiliar with computer engineering, Dr. Rusu explained the importance of this project.

“Students will be able to set up secure networks, to simulate and respond to potential attacks. It will also allow students to perform ethical hacking – testing security defenses of different entities,” said Rusu.

Junior Jaclyn Cuevas, software engineer major, believes that the lab will raise the standard of learning for those in the field.

“It’s good that the material will be held to current security standards, and that we will have access to new security protocols as they’re adopted.”

The lab is being established simultaneously with a cybersecurity minor program and core engineering courses in cybersecurity. Dr. Rusu added that having a lab like this would be advantageous to engineering students.

“The most valuable aspect is that students will be able to do hands-on activities with state-of-the-art equipment,” he said.

Computer science major Kyle Morehead’ 20 believes that the interactive opportunities the lab plans on having will give them practical application for future techniques.

“It will provide a good opportunity for computer science majors to get some experience for future jobs,” he said.

Junior Davis Doherty, a software engineering major, related the necessity of the development of the laboratory to current events.

“Since stories about data breaches at large companies appear almost quarterly, I think cybersecurity is an extremely prevalent topic in today’s society,” said Doherty. “Fairfield’s new lab would teach us skills that we can apply in almost any career, which would certainly raise the effectiveness of the degree as a whole.”

 

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