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RIT Fortifies Cybersecurity Lab

The Rochester Institute of Technology is extending its student cybersecurity training with the help of a private partner. The New York-based university will add security software from IBM, host seminars by IBM experts and give students hands-on access to real-world security scenarios in their coursework.

In 2012, the institute introduced a department dedicated to computing security, housed in its College of Computing and Information Sciences. For a long time IBM has participated in various activities in the college, including providing speakers for special events and sponsoring research and programs. The latest agreement extends that collaboration by giving the school access to IBM tools for Web access security, network security and application vulnerability testing. Students will use security analytics software in several courses, including network security and forensics, penetration testing and systems security.

The institute will also gain access to IBM's threat-sharing platform, IBM X-Force Exchange, an online database of security vulnerabilities and malware samples, to gives students the chance to work with threat data coming in from companies around the world.

"We want to put the best tools in front of our students, and with this partnership our students will be learning with systems that companies actually use in industry every day," said Associate Professor Bill Stackpole. "IBM does a great job with security intelligence, creating databases where you can rank vulnerabilities and maps so you can see where attacks are coming from."

IBM will host seminars at the institute and invite students and faculty to provide feedback on its security products and services.

"By equipping students with the tools and insight needed to defend against the next generation of security threats, we'll be better preparing these students for careers in the world of cybersecurity," noted Bob Kalka, vice president of IBM's security business unit and an alumnus of the institute. "With this collaboration, we also hope to create co-op experiences for [Rochester] students and to identify future employees interested in protecting IBM's customers from cyber threats."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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