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Auburn University’s McCrary Institute continues national cybersecurity leadership

Auburn University continues to assert itself as a national leader in the growing world of cybersecurity.

The university, through its Auburn Cyber Research Center and McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, is now collaborating with the Alabama National Guard Defensive Cyber Operation Element (DCO-E) in Montgomery to provide training to DCO-E cyber analysts on Auburn’s campus.

Through this effort, Auburn cyber researchers will provide subject matter expertise and technical support to the DCO-E through cyber analyst training, cyber range exercises and development of strategies to defend critical infrastructure across the Yellowhammer State.

Jason Cuneo, chief technologist of the Auburn Cyber Research Center, will lead the training, according to a release from the university’s college of engineering.

“As a land-grant institution, Auburn’s mission includes service to citizens through instructional, research and outreach programs, and our support of the Alabama National Guard DCO-E team is an exciting opportunity for us to fulfill that mission,” Cuneo stated.

The DCO-E analysts will learn on Auburn’s cyber range, a reconfigurable virtual environment used for simulated training and cybersecurity development.

The training will also include system administration; security configurations; network traffic analysis; defense tools and techniques; and cyber exercise preparation.

“We are excited about the growing relationship between the Alabama National Guard and Auburn University,” said Jeremy Leasher, information protection technician with the DCO-E.

“The initial interactions have been exciting, and we look forward to fostering cyber initiatives with Auburn,” he continued. “This partnership will give vital training and education in the areas of Defensive Cyber Operations that we need to successfully complete our missions. We hope that this becomes an enduring relationship and continues to benefit both cyber research and critical skill training needed to defend against persistent threats.”

Cuneo advised that the Auburn Cyber Research Center strives to be a statewide asset for Alabama in the training of network defense analysts and is open to collaborating with other organizations.

“We are incredibly excited about working with the Alabama DCO-E team and providing a cyber range capability that generates realistic training scenarios for cyber analysts,” Cuneo concluded. “It is our hope that as this relationship grows, the Auburn Cyber Research Center will become a core cyber resource for the state of Alabama.”

RELATED: Auburn University launches graduate certificate in cybersecurity management

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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