UMUC is Changing the Cybersecurity Landscape
Connecting Cybersecurity Students and Professionals
UMUC's leadership in the cybersecurity arena goes beyond its leading edge undergraduate and graduate programs. The university also continuously creates opportunities to facilitate symbiotic relationships among cybersecurity students and professionals. The cybersecurity scholarship gala is one of those opportunities. Not only does the scholarship gala serve as a critical event for both students and seasoned cybersecurity and information technology professionals, but it also promotes the exchange of cybersecurity innovation and ideas and provides essential scholarship support to students entering this vital field.
At the heart of the success of UMUC's cybersecurity programs are its students, many of whom are already balancing families, personal lives and careers when they begin their studies. The majority of UMUC’s graduate cybersecurity students have solid information technology backgrounds, in terms of both undergraduate education and work experience, and many have active security clearances. Students report that their UMUC cybersecurity program is making a difference in their careers by improving their performance, enabling them to take on new assignments in cybersecurity or information assurance, and enhancing their prospects for new job opportunities with their employer. Many also say their program is prompting them to search for a new job in the cybersecurity field.
Cybersecurity Studies Beyond the Classroom
Some students are so passionate about cybersecurity that they take their studies and skills beyond the classroom and their careers.
Student cybersecurity teams have been competing and winning prestigious titles at national and international cybersecurity competitions.
- In September 2012, a team of undergraduate students, alumni and faculty took first place in the North American CyberLympics, topping a field of teams including many professionals working in the industry today. In October 2012, the team earned silver at the global CyberLympics in Miami, Florida.
- In July 2012, a UMUC cybersecurity team placed third out of 53 teams competing in the MITRE Corporation’s virtual Capture the Flag Competition, placing the university alongside institutions including Carnegie Mellon University and Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
- In 2011, two UMUC student teams—one undergraduate and one graduate—competed at the Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference at the Baltimore Convention Center (pictured). Both teams were among the top eight teams in the competition and advanced to the final round of competition.
A Community Leader in Cybersecurity
In October 2011, UMUC hosted a Cybersecurity Breakfast Symposium that included a panel discussion titled "Cybersecurity: How Far Have We Come? What difference does it make? And are we any safer or smarter now?" The event featured leaders and thinkers from the forefront of cybersecurity, including
- U.S. Senator Ben Cardin
- Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege, chairman of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation
- Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC
- Jeff Green, senior counsel on the majority staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
- John Maguire, professional staff member and liaison to Senator Olympia Snowe at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
These leaders addressed a variety of topics, including the need for additional cybersecurity legislation, threats to American economic competitiveness and national security, the distinction between cyber crimes and cyber attacks, possible regulatory changes, and more.
In July 2011, the Maryland General Assembly authorized the establishment of the Commission on Cyber Security Innovation and Excellence. UMUC is responsible for staffing the commission, which is charged with conducting an overview of federal and state cybersecurity laws and policies. The commission will consider Maryland's role in promoting cyber innovation and recommend a comprehensive framework and strategic plan for cybersecurity innovation and excellence, including recovery from cyber attack. The commission will also recommend ways to attract private investment and will promote innovation through public and private partnerships, research and development, workforce training, and education.
Cybersecurity Programs for Businesses and Organizations
Over the past year, UMUC has continued to reach out and provide cybersecurity education to corporations, government agencies, and other organizations through its Corporate Learning Solutions. This office works with organizations to develop and deliver cybersecurity learning solutions that solve specific business challenges those organizations face. Whether an organization wants to enhance the cyber-readiness of its workforce or provide career development paths for employees, Corporate Learning Solutions can help.
A variety of organizations have already sought out education from UMUC through this office; they include Booz Allen Hamilton, Department of Health and Human Services, GEICO, the Baltimore Police Department, the CIA, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, URS and CACI.