Toward a More Secure Future

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UGA will advance research with implications for economic vitality and national security through its newly created Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy.

Through our new Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, the University of Georgia is poised to expand research and instruction that impacts nearly every aspect of modern life.

The Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy is housed in the department of computer science in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, but it will build collaborations with units across campus as well as with off-campus partners in government and industry. It builds upon the expertise of faculty members in areas such as network and system security, security for mobile devices and the Internet of Things, and cyber-crime attribution.

The increasing frequency and growing sophistication of cyberattacks has made the need for research that addresses critical vulnerabilities more urgent than ever. The Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy is directed by Professor Kang Li, whose research in areas such as cloud platforms, denial-of-service attacks and phishing has been funded the National Science Foundation, Intel, Cisco Systems and the Georgia Research Alliance. Other funding partners for research being conducted through the institute include the U.S. Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to answering a pressing need for research-based cybersecurity solutions, the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy will help expand learning opportunities for the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Our department of computer science currently offers several undergraduate and graduate courses related to cybersecurity and privacy, and it recently launched a graduate certificate in cybersecurity. Demand for educated cybersecurity professionals still greatly exceeds supply, however, and the institute will play a key role in the development of additional learning opportunities.

The Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy is part of a broader effort at the University of Georgia to enhance research, instruction and outreach involving big data techniques. It is one of several units associated with the university's campus-wide Georgia Informatics Institutes for Research and Education, which also links UGA’s Health Informatics Institute, the Institute of Bioinformatics and departments such as management information systems in the Terry College of Business. The University has more than 160 faculty members whose research involves informatics, and collaborations among these researchers is advancing a host of fields.

Off-campus, the University’s statewide network of Public Service and Outreach resources helps prepare the business community and public sector to address cybersecurity challenges. UGA’s Small Business Development Center offers resources and events such as a daylong Cyberstrength workshop, while UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government manages training for the Georgia chapter of the Government Management Information Sciences, which is composed of local and state government IT professionals.

Cybersecurity is emerging as a key area of strength, not just at the University of Georgia but across the state. More than 115 cybersecurity firms call Georgia home and generate more than $4.7 billion in annual revenue. The growth of the U.S. Army Cyber Command in Fort Gordon and the creation of the state-owned Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta will accelerate growth even further and boost military, academic and private sector collaboration.

The far-reaching nature of today’s cybersecurity challenges demands a broad-based response, and the establishment of the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy reflects the University of Georgia’s commitment to being an integral partner in keeping our state and nation ahead of emerging threats.