TU at the forefront of cybersecurity

By Megan Bradshaw on Oct. 8, 2018

Towson University is one of four institutions in the world to receive ABET accreditation under the cybersecurity criteria.

Gustavus Shaw
Junior Gustavus Shaw is majoring in the newly accredited program.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has accredited Towson University’s computer security track in the computer science B.S. degree program until 2024.

“Earning one of the first ABET cybersecurity accreditations in the world is a signal of Towson University’s rigorous academic programs and affirms TU as a preeminent provider of tech-focused leaders,” said TU President Kim Schatzel.

TU is one of four institutions in the world—along with the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Southeast Missouri —to receive ABET accreditation under the cybersecurity criteria.

“The accreditation of the cybersecurity program affirms the excellence of our faculty, research, programs, and student preparation. Towson has always been forging a new path in cybersecurity education and continues to do so. Kudos to all our faculty,” said Sidd Kaza, associate professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

TU’s Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics started one of the first undergraduate cybersecurity tracks in the nation and the first in Maryland. The department has received external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army Research Lab among other state and federal agencies.

Recently, the department received nearly $4 million from the NSF to continue the Scholarship for Service program, which funds students with up to two-year scholarships that include full tuition, books, an annual stipend, travel assistance and health insurance. The program has had a 100 percent success rate with internship and postgrad placement, with 77 percent working for federal agencies like the NSA, FBI, DHS, USCERT and HH OIG.

“Towson’s cybersecurity education is well-known for excellence nationally, so ABET’s invitation for Towson to submit itself to the new cybersecurity accreditation was welcomed, but not a surprise. We have long been designated as a center of academic excellence in information assurance education and in cyberoperations.  The just-announced reaccreditation for computer science and the new cybersecurity accreditation provide further evidence for students of the high quality of their education at Towson University,” said Interim Provost David Vanko.

Departmental faculty work on cutting-edge, federally funded cybersecurity research on the wireless networks, cyber-physical systems, reverse engineering, and cyber education. They are also involved in influential national efforts to further cybersecurity education including the first ACM Cybersecurity Degree Guidelines and the National Cybersecurity Curriculum Program. 

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland and TIGER Way.