BY SHANNON PIERSON, PUBLIC-INTEREST CYBERSECURITY FELLOW, CENTER FOR LONG-TERM CYBERSECURITY
At the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics’ monthly meetings in November and December 2023, members reflected on the year’s accomplishments and shared anecdotes about the successes of their individual clinics.
Funding and Development Updates
- In an exciting update, clinic funding is coming to the EU! In partnership with Google.org, the European Cyber Conflict Research Incubator CIC (ECCRI CIC) will launch cyber clinics seminars at select European universities. The initiative aims to expand access and opportunities for students interested in learning about the field of cybersecurity. Clinics will open in Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Ukraine, offering tailored curriculums in the respective languages of these countries.
- University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill received a grant to establish a cybersecurity clinic that is set to launch in early 2024. UNC clinic coordinators are currently crafting the course curriculum and actively seeking clients for the clinic’s inaugural class.
- San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, and National University are joining forces to create a regional cybersecurity clinic in Southern California. This collaboration is managed by the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence and aims to foster cross-institutional collaboration amongst San Diego’s cyber defenders.
Cyber Civil Defense Research Updates
- Indiana University and Purdue University’s Cybertrack program, an initiative that connects Indiana’s local governments with cybersecurity experts for tailored advice, published its inaugural report in November 2023. The “Cybertrack Report” aggregates results and analysis from 23 cybersecurity assessments conducted on local government entities in Indiana. The report finds that most local governments in Indiana struggle to implement even the most fundamental cybersecurity controls, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- The MIT Cybersecurity Clinic students recently conducted site visits for their clients in the New England area. These visits provided an opportunity for students to observe the physical assets of their clients, such as servers and building layouts. This hands-on experience helped enhance their understanding of employee access to IT assets, organizations’ operational security posture, and the overall company culture.
- The University of Georgia (UGA) CyberArch Clinic assisted seven different organizations this year, clients of which included city governments, water treatment facilities, and small business clients. Additionally, UGA opened a Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) chapter.
- Rochester Institute’s (RIT) clinic achieved success with a variety of client projects in 2023, including a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. As a token of appreciation, the orchestra graciously awarded students free tickets for their services. RIT observed a trend among non-profit clients: most prefer cybersecurity assessments over penetration testing. This preference stems from a desire by these organizations for practical advice on what specific cybersecurity program aspects they can implement to improve their cybersecurity posture.
CLTC congratulates all the members of the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics on yet another impactful year in training the next generation of cyber civil defenders and building cyber resilience for community organizations — we can’t wait to see how these initiatives expand in 2024!