Tampa, FL.—June 1, 2018—The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2), hosted at the University of South Florida, has partnered with seven State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions to implement FC2’s new virtual learning lab, the Florida CyberHub. The University of South Florida and Florida Polytechnic University have already begun using the CyberHub to support courses, and the University of North Florida, Florida A&M University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, and the University of Central Florida have expressed their intention to use the CyberHub for their fall 2018 courses.
The Florida CyberHub is a cost-effective resource administered by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity that provides several technological tools to facilitate cybersecurity education, including a cyber range, course catalog, secure sandbox, capture the flag, community forum, and desktop-as-a-service.
“Hands-on-keyboard experience with malicious software is a crucial aspect of any cybersecurity education program,” noted FC2 Director Sri Sridharan. “But students need a secure environment where they can study malicious programs without posing a threat to the campus computer network or their personal computers, and that’s where the CyberHub comes in.”
The cyber range, for example, is a virtual environment in which students can practice attack-and-defend scenarios, and the secure sandbox allows students and professors to create custom cyberattack scenarios for practice and research. Desktop-as-a-service allows students to access virtual computers preloaded with all the software and files needed, eliminating the need to install files on their personal computers, which can cut into instructional time.
“This spring, we used the Florida CyberHub to host the software for our classes for the first time, and the experience was vastly superior to previous runs in terms of ease of access, an overall streamlined experience, and availability of support,” remarked LeGrande Gardner, PhD, program director of the M.S. in Cybercrime at the University of South Florida. “Issues were minimal compared to previous classes, and the few issues that did occur were easily resolved. Altogether, the Florida CyberHub experience was highly efficient and a positive experience for all involved including the faculty,” he said.
Kanwalinderjit Kaur Gagneja, PhD, an assistant professor of computer science at Florida Polytechnic University, also tested the CyberHub’s tools for one of her spring 2018 courses, and likewise reported a positive outcome: “My course was lab-based, and the Florida CyberHub team was wonderful to work with. They provided the training to set up and deploy my course, ensured the required software was up and running, and provided student support for the platform, software, and any other issues, freeing me to focus on delivering the curriculum,” she said.
FC2 plans to continue to pursue CyberHub partnerships with the remaining SUS institutions in the coming months. To learn more about the Florida CyberHub, visit https://floridacyberhub.org.
About the Florida Center for Cybersecurity
The Florida Center for Cybersecurity is a state resource established to position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity through education and workforce development; innovative, interdisciplinary research; and community engagement. Hosted at the University of South Florida, FC2 works with all twelve State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions as well as industry, government, and defense to create connections, build partnerships, capitalize on opportunities, and encourage collaboration. The Center hosts and sponsors events to engage diverse audiences throughout the year and administers funding programs that support collaborative research and cybersecurity programming at SUS institutions.