CCI launches new cybersecurity initative, seeks pilot partner

The College of Computing and Informatics has started a new cybersecurity outreach initiative aimed at supporting area resource-constrained partner organizations based on the college’s decades of award-winning, nationally recognized leadership in the field.

CCI faculty members Bill Chu, managing director of Charlotte’s CyberDNSA Center; Vinicius Da Costa, adjunct faculty in cybersecurity; and Cory Faklaris, assistant professor of software and information systems, are leading this new initiative to foster collaboration between external private and public sector partners and UNC Charlotte faculty and students, and industry partners.

“This initiative is a win-win proposition. It provides a much-needed service to companies and organizations that are most vulnerable to cyberattacks on the one hand and provides practical experiences for UNC Charlotte students,” Chu said. “We are grateful for the strong support we received from our friends in the cybersecurity community who are dedicated to giving back to our community.”

As part of its launch, the clinic is seeking an inaugural partner organization located within approximately 50 miles of the University. This first client should be in the private, public or nonprofit sector that currently does not have the resources to perform its own cybersecurity threat modeling and risk assessment. Organizations interested in partnering with CCI this semester should complete the application survey.

The first client will work closely with Chu and Da Costa’s students to assess their current cybersecurity capabilities in a time when business crippling cyberattacks have become common. At the end of this semester, students will provide the partner organization with a comprehensive and actionable list of recommendations for how the client organization can best improve their cybersecurity based on their analysis, free of charge.

The College of Computing and Informatics has been producing pioneering, impactful research in cybersecurity for more than two decades, and has been nationally recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research.