CIAS training seminar
CIAS awarded $3.1 million from Homeland Security
By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist
(Oct. 9, 2006)--The UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) was awarded a three-year $3.1 million competitive training grant from the Department of Homeland Security to support state and community efforts to establish cyber-security training and development programs. The grant expands on an initial $1 million in DHS funding in 2004 to train communities to develop and conduct their own exercises.
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"We appreciate the Department of Homeland Security's continuing support in recognizing UTSA's efforts to assist state and local governments in the prevention of cyber-terror attacks," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.
Established in 2001, CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field. The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency. CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides security training.
"As one of only three DHS training partners in the nation working in cyber security, we feel this increased funding supports our efforts to lead and develop models that DHS can recommend states and communities to adopt," said Greg White, CIAS director.
Earlier this year, CIAS personnel participated in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington, D.C. The center was selected after leading the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio in 2002 and 2003, bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber-security exercise.
Additionally, CIAS has conducted cyber-security exercises for several communities throughout Texas and the United States. CIAS personnel have worked on infrastructure assurance and security issues for financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas communities, and the chemical sectors in Houston, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami and Baltimore.
CIAS Fact Sheet
Established in 2001, CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field. The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency. CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides educational training.
In 2002-2003, CIAS led the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber security exercise at the community level.
Over the last five years, UTSA's CIAS has been awarded more than $12 million in Defense Appropriations bills to support community Cybersecurity Attack and Defend Exercises and Infrastructure Assurance and Security Research. Additionally, the CIAS has been awarded over $4 million from the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Grants and Training to develop training materials on cyber exercises for the community.
UTSA's CIAS is a leading force in cyber-security exercises, conducting sector, community and state exercises.
The CIAS has conducted cyber security exercises for the financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas, information technology and chemical sectors in Houston, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore and Oklahoma. Community exercises have been conducted in San Antonio, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas; Del Rio, Texas; Hampton Roads, Va. and Dayton, Ohio.
The first Texas statewide cyber-security exercise was conducted in July 2006 including Plano, Tyler and Austin.
In February 2006, CIAS was participated in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington, D.C. CIAS was acknowledged for its expertise in representing the community piece for this national exercise.
In April 2005, CIAS hosted the first Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition comprised of all Texas Schools. Texas A&M won.
In April 2006, CIAS hosted the first National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, won by the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. The five competing teams won their regional competitions held nationwide. The five regionals were modeled after UTSA's CIAS Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
UTSA is the first Texas university to receive the designation of "Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" by the National Security Agency (NSA). The designation means UTSA's curriculum and faculty meet or exceed NSA standards to teach information-assurance security and makes the university eligible to apply for grants from NSA and the National Science Foundation.
Established in 2005, the Institute for the Protection of American Communities (IPAC) was created to bring together the university's capabilities and expertise in addressing solutions to security challenges in cyber security, chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats. IPAC is the umbrella organization for CIAS, the UTSA Center of Excellence in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing, Education and Research (CEBBER) and the Center for Response and Security Engineering and Technology (CRSET).