Cyber Training Center with Virtual Platform
With the massive increase in cyberattacks, recent reports show that hackers attack a computer in the US every 39 seconds! In order to protect our community from cyber threats, it is critical to educate and train a Cybersecurity-capable workforce. The Cyber Training Center (CTC) established by the Department of Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering at Marshall University, which is located on the third floor of the Arthur Weisburg Family Applied Engineering Complex, is designed to provide hands-on and scalable cyber training to assist our students. Our goal is to use the CTC lab to give our students practical real-world experience in cyber security and to provide them with the skills they will need to become successful cyber security professionals in the community.
Cybersecurity education requires a balance of theory and practice. Students need to understand the theory and logic behind with the core concepts of cybersecurity, but they should also have the practical knowledge to implement the tools and protocols applying those concepts. The CTC lab enables students to do this. The current CTC lab supports students with two servers, 25 PC workstations, and a mini Security Operations Center (SOC), which consist of a large monitor displaying network operations and three analyst workstations. Additional capabilities for monitoring critical infrastructure control systems will be added to enable students to get experience with these systems as well. In addition to regular degree programs of the B.S. in Computer and Information Security, M.S. in Cybersecurity with online degree option, certificate programs, various boot camps such as GenCyber and CyberPatriot have been supported by the CTC lab. Further, to support online courses in Cybersecurity and virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual CTC lab is designed as a web platform interfaced with a virtual machine repository that can be accessed by all students, no matter whether they are studying in a face-to-face in the classroom or remotely through online learning.
The CTC has supported various student projects. Such projects include an Automated IP Reputation Analyzer and a Deployable Remote Online Learning Network, which were developed in conjunction with the West Virginia Office of Technology, and an Automatic Penetration Testing Web Application, which was the result of a collaborate effort with the West Virginia Department of Education. The CTC also supports faculty cybersecurity research in computer system/network and software (Dr. Paulus Wahjudi), wireless networks and mobile computing (Dr. Cong Pu), Big Data Systems (Dr. Haroon Malik), Cryptography (Dr. Tanvir Chowdhury), and IoT/Autonomous Vehicles (Dr. Husnu Narman). For example, Dr. Narman is currently developing and integrating a real-time auto constructive feedback system using machine learning models using the CTC lab. Dr. Narman’s project is aimed at helping students understand and learn from their mistakes while taking online course to overcome the challenges of online courses where no live person provides real-time feedback during instruction.
The Cybersecurity program in the Department of Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering received GenCyber Teacher camp grant award by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation. The grant is aimed at educating the K-12 teachers to increase student interest in the field of Cybersecurity and improve teaching methods for delivery of cybersecurity-related content in K-12 curricula. The GenCyber curriculum was designed based on the inquiry-based learning consisting of hands-on laboratories, which are open-source and available to learners, educators and researchers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s camp will be conducted remotely through our Virtual Lab in the CTC. If you are interested in GenCyber Teacher Camp, please contact Dr. Narman (email@example.com).