Excelsior College Launches National Cybersecurity Institute

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National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College. The National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College, a new academic and research center based in Washington DC, will officially open its doors on January 14 with an invitation-only event for stakeholders and cyber industry influencers throughout the nation’s capital and surrounding areas.

The NCI is dedicated to assisting government, industry, military and academic sectors meet the challenges in cybersecurity policy, technology and education through a variety of initiatives.

Dr. Jane LeClair, COO of National Cyber Security Institute at Excelsior College

Dr. Jane LeClair will lead the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College.

“Cybersecurity is and will remain one of the defining issues of our time,” said Dr. Jane LeClair, chief operating officer of NCI. “Through the National Cybersecurity Institute, Excelsior will be able to conduct research in the field, advise and strengthen our own cyber programs, and help educate and train the next generation of cyber professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The institute will publish multidisciplinary academic research through the National Cybersecurity Institute Journal, a peer reviewed journal with a particular focus on education, training and workforce development, as well as provide tailored cybersecurity training sessions via face-to-face instruction or at a distance.

An additional primary mission of NCI will be to advise Excelsior College on its cybersecurity academic offerings. Currently, the regionally-accredited, distance learning institution offers six cybersecurity programs, five of which have been certified to meet the National Security Agency’s Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Training Standards.

NCI will be led by COO Dr. Jane LeClair, formerly dean of Excelsior’s School of Business and Technology. Its Advisory Board is comprised of senior-level and experienced technology and policy experts, including board chair, Dr. Irving Lachow, principal cybersecurity engineer at MITRE. The institute will also draw on the best minds in cybersecurity to inform its strategic vision, recruiting a host of industry practitioners on the ground-floor of the cybersecurity industry willing to serve as NCI Fellows.

The NCI’s first book, Protecting our Future: Educating a Cybersecurity Workforce (Hudson Whitman), was published in December 2013, and brings together a range of experts from across the cybersecurity spectrum and shines a spotlight on operational challenges and needs across the workforce in military, health care, international relations, telecommunications, finance, education, utilities, government, small businesses, and nonprofits. The institute’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Introduction to Cybersecurity, begins on January 27. The free course aims to introduce educators, professionals and the general public to the evolving field of cyber operations and security.

[Audio: Interview with Dr. LeClair on the National Cybersecurity Institute]