Marshall University’s Institute of Cyber Security proudly partners and collaborates with numerous public and private organizations. These partnerships benefit our students in two ways:

  • Hands-on, real-world practical skills applied through labs and live-fire exercises using industry-standard tools.
  • Research and internship opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels


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What is the US Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network?

The Academic Engagement Network (AEN) is an alliance of public and private academic institutions collaborating to support and enhance four USCYBERCOM lines of effort: future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics and strategic issues. The AEN supports and enhances CYBERCOM’s innovative efforts involving the U.S. cyber workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics and other strategic issues. The AEN aims to create a more diverse, robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals for military and civilian work roles within the Cyber Mission Force.

Cyber Command and Academia

U.S. Cyber Command collaborates with Academia to:

  • Engage the future workforce – by creating a more diverse, robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals for military and civilian work roles within the Cyber Mission Force.
  • Increase cyber applied research and innovation – with cutting-edge research to better understand technical and non-technical (policy, law, threat trends) options, problems, solutions, and innovation opportunities.
  • Expand cyber-focused analytic partnerships – through exchanges and directed research to foster unique competencies, capacities, and expertise that will provide insight into adversaries cyberspace activities
  • Enrich strategic cyber dialogue – by informing academic institutions of the command’s roles, authorities, key issues and responsibilities in National security and cyber operations.

How does MU ICS benefit from the US Cyber Command AEN?

Academic institutions that have joined USCYBERCOM’s Academic Engagement Network will:

  • Receive communications about changes in the cyberspace domain that may impact their students, programs, research, and partnerships
  • Receive invitations to exclusive webinars about USCYBERCOM’s most pressing technical and non-technical problems, as well as how to benefit from key DoD programs that impact cyberspace (e.g. University Consortium for Cybersecurity)
  • Gain access to guest lecturers from USCYBERCOM on cyberspace strategy, policy, law, innovation, and workforce issues


CYBERCOM Announces Academic Engagement Network Partners > U.S. Cyber Command > News

Marshall joins U.S. Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network (



Want to learn more about Cyberbit?

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What is Cyberbit?

Cyberbit provides a hyper-realistic cyber range and cyber labs, empowering higher education leaders to produce next-generation cyber security graduates, equipped with the skills that their future employers need.

How does Cyberbit benefit MU ICS?

Cyberbit’s Cyber Range allows our students to experience their in-class learning in a hands-on-the-keyboard environment.  Cyberbit’s robust lab creation and virtual ranges allow for the integration of hands-on experience into their coursework. Our professors can create custom courses for students to work through or students can work through the hundreds of available labs on their own.

The Cyberbit Cyber Range student benefits include:

  • Improved theoretical learning through Spotlight exercises.
  • Critical hands-on learning experiences delivered through multiple Cyber Labs.
  • Intense “live fire” cyber-attack experience through real-world simulations in the Cyber Range.
  • Student skill evaluation and tracking via Student Assessments, including reports, progress tracking, and learning management system integration.
  • Additional labs and learning paths


Marshall Students Learn To Thwart Cyber Attacks With Help From W.Va. National Guard, Tech Companies



Want to learn more about Operation Underground Railroad?

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What is Operation Underground Railroad?

Operation Underground Railroad is a United States-based nonprofit organization involved in the rescue of human trafficking and sex trafficking victims, with a special focus on children, and a wider goal of eliminating sex trafficking worldwide. O.U.R. partners with local law enforcement agencies around the world to save children from human trafficking.  O.U.R. has to date rescued 1,013 victims and helped arrest 462 suspected traffickers worldwide.

The OUR and MU CFS Collaboration

Marshall University’s CFS Program is “just so grateful for this opportunity to serve this cause. Our students get to directly contribute to helping the victims of this terrible crime. In the process, they gain invaluable real-world experience that they can take with them for the rest of their careers.” – John Sammons, Associate Director for the Marshall University Institute for Cyber Security.

O.U.R. is grateful for its partnership with Marshall University and its Open Source Intelligence program, Matt Osborne, Director of Global Operations at O.U.R., has said. During the fall semester of 2017, Sammons’ students provided reports to support O.U.R. child rescue operations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Osborne said. “These Marshall University students are experts in scraping the web and leveraging online social media accounts to help O.U.R.’s law enforcement partners advance their child sexual exploitation cases.” For more information about how O.U.R. and Marshall CFS’s OSIX work together, click here.

Want to learn more about Spyder Forensics?

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What is Spyder Forensics?

Spyder Forensics is the premier training organization delivering tool-agnostic workflow-based instruction to the global DFIR community.  Our courses are designed to cover all disciplines while elevating your examination knowledge and taking our students to the next level in their careers. We pride ourselves on sharing the most cutting-edge research and knowledge with our students.

Spyder Forensics and MU CFS Collaboration

Spyder Forensics has collaborated with the Marshall University Cyber Forensics and Security program on government contracts and grants, offered student internships, and spoken at the annual AIDE Conference, hosted by MU CFS. Their continued support and aid are greatly recognized and appreciated by the students and faculty of the MU CFS program.

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The Bluegrass State Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence is a consortium with members Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, and Morehead State University. Students from other universities are also welcome to attend and participate in consortium activities. Their goal is to prepare the next generation of intelligence and security professionals (to include national security, homeland security, law enforcement and private sector security). The Bluegrass State Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence is supported by the US Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Program. 

Marshall University and the BGSICCAE

Marshall is a proud cooperating partner of the BGSICCAE. Membership in the center means that participating Marshall students can attend BGS IC CAE outreach events including workshops, career panels, guest lectures, and other events. They are also eligible for scholarships and can earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to meet with and tour various agencies in the U.S. intelligence community. Further, students who become IC CAE Scholars through the program acquire a competitive advantage when applying for jobs in the U.S. Intelligence Community.


Note that this article is from 2017, when Marshall first joined the BGSICCAE. The program was listed under a different name at that time, which has since become the Cyber Forensics and Security program. Marshall’s Cyber Forensics and Security program is still a participating member.

Want to learn more about Forge Security, LLC?

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What is Forge Security?

Forge is a cybersecurity consulting and software provider that offers groundbreaking cybersecurity range training, proprietary compliance software, and proactive consulting for holistic business success. Their clients operate in highly regulated industries including finance, government, and health care. They depend on Forge to eliminate every vulnerability throughout their business ecosystem so they can focus on long-term growth.

How does Forge Security support MU ICS?

Forge Security, LLC, is a Huntington, WV-based company that has offered support to both the CFS Program and our associated CCDC team. Their support has been instrumental in the strengthening of the Cyber Forensics and Security Program.

Forge Security’s generous support of Marshall University’s CFS Program has enabled our students to have access to the Cyberbit Cyber Range, a hands-on and practitioner-focused lab environment.

An excerpt from The Parthenon details our partnership and the associated Cyberbit Range access:

“The cyber range will give students realistic hands-on learning that will sharpen their skills and allow students to see in an immersive way the situations they may face in the field of cybersecurity. The virtual range will include individual lab exercises for learning specific skills and also offer simulations of a realistic cyber security attack.”


Marshall forms cyber security partnership with West Virginia National Guard and Forge Security LLC

Want to learn more about the WV Fusion Center?

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What is the West Virginia Fusion Center?

The purpose of West Virginia Fusion Center is to collect, integrate, evaluate, analyze and disseminate information and intelligence to support local, state and federal agencies in detecting, preventing, and responding to criminal and terrorist activity. The WVFC co-locates representatives of these agencies to share information and to facilitate joint efforts to prevent and solve crimes to protect the public.