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Building a Cybersecurity Pipeline through Experiential Virtual Labs and Workforce Alliances

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32481

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32481

Download Count

111

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Paper Authors

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Jorge Crichigno University of South Carolina

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Jorge Crichigno received the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (NM), USA. He is an Associate Professor in the Integrated Information Technology Department in the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina, Columbia (SC), USA. His current research interests are in the areas of network and protocol optimization for high-throughput high-latency systems, and Internet measurements for cyber security. Dr. Crichigno has served as reviewer and TPC member of journals and conferences such as IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Globecom, and as panelist for the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and an ABET evaluator representing the IEEE.

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Sadia Ahmed Northern New Mexico College

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Assistant Professor, Chair
College of Engineering and Technology
Northern New Mexico College

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John H. Gerdes University of South Carolina

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Dr. Gerdes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Information Technology in the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina. Research interests include Web Data Mining, Anonymity, Cybersecurity Electronic Commerce.

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Robert G. Brookshire University of South Carolina

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Dr. Robert G. Brookshire is a Professor in the Integrated Information Technology Department in the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. He is the director of the Master of Health Information Technology program. He holds an A.B. from the University of Georgia, an M.Ed. from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. from Emory University. He has taught at New York University, North Texas State University, the University of Virginia, and James Madison University. He is the co-author of Using Microcomputers for Research (Sage Publications, 1985), and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Computer Information Systems, BYTE, Social Science Computer Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, The European Journal of Operational Research, and other journals. He is past president of the Organizational Systems Research Association and editor of the Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal from 2001 to 2011.

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Abstract

This paper describes a project led by the University of South Carolina (USC) to address the cybersecurity workforce gap. The project creates curricular material based on virtual laboratories (vLabs). As vLabs are developed, they are adopted and tested at USC and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), the main partnering institution in this project. These vLabs consist of virtual equipment (e.g., virtual network, virtual router, virtual firewall) emulating complete systems on-demand running in NETLAB. NETLAB is a widely used platform for training purposes across the country, with more than 1,000 institutions currently using it. USC and NNMC have also established an alliance with industry organizations and with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to establish internship opportunities. Currently, student interns are not only exercising technical skills but also developing soft skills such as team work and time management. Finally, in partnership with manufacturer leaders, the project permits students to earn industry certificates. These certificates are aligned with the guidelines for “Information Technology Curricula 2017 for IT programs” by the IEEE/ACM. Specifically, the guidelines indicate that IT should emphasize “learning IT core concepts combined with authentic practice” and “use of professional tools and platforms.” Hands-on vLabs activities show that providing access to computing technologies (e.g., professional next-generation firewalls, routers) used in the work environment eases the transition of students from academia to the workplace.

Crichigno, J., & Ahmed, S., & Gerdes, J. H., & Brookshire, R. G. (2019, June), Building a Cybersecurity Pipeline through Experiential Virtual Labs and Workforce Alliances Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32481

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