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Boise State Cybersecurity Institute Partners with Sophos to Expand Experiential Learning with Latest EDR Solutions

Boise State University’s Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity has announced a new partnership with cybersecurity-as-a-service provider Sophos, giving Boise State access to Sophos’ endpoint security offerings and adding the latest technology to students' experiential learning, according to a news release.

According to the agreement, the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity’s Cyberdome, which provides cybersecurity services to Idaho organizations, will add Sophos’ Intercept X solution with extended detection and response features to Cyberdome’s service offerings. 

The Cyberdome gives Idaho higher ed students a real-life cybersecurity education and hands-on practice as students participate in providing cybersecurity services to rural Idaho school districts, counties, and cities, Boise State said. Cyberdome students, from universities and colleges across Idaho, “graduate from the program with critical real-world experience to advance into professional cybersecurity specialist’s positions.”

Sophos said its Intercept X with XDR solution “will be used by students to monitor client assets, detect threats from cyber adversaries, and report to clients on possible avenues of exploitation.” 

Cyberdome’s work includes protecting networks at rural K–12 school districts, helping rural counties with election system security, and protecting critical rural city systems that support water and electric districts throughout Idaho. In the first half of 2023, the university said, Cyberdome students “monitored over 5,000 assets, analyzed over 53,000 possible attacks and notified clients of 350 potential real-time attacks.” 

“This partnership supports two critical issues in cybersecurity,” said Joe Levy, president and chief technology officer at Sophos. “First, our Sophos Intercept X endpoint solution will be deployed to different sized organizations around Idaho, including those in rural areas, to help them defend against data breaches, ransomware and other cyberattacks. … 

“Second, there is a worldwide cybersecurity skills gap today, and by helping students with the program’s hands-on cybersecurity training, we’re helping to equip the next generation of the cybersecurity workforce.”

According a recent workforce report in CIO magazine, “The cyber skills shortage is not going away anytime soon, despite the progress we are making as an industry to attract new talent.” A recent ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study showed that the talent gap in cybersecurity is now double the size of the total workforce in North America.

The partnership is made possible in part by grants from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurship Mission’s Higher Education Research Council and Idaho’s Workforce Development Council, according to a news release.

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About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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