EWU named as national cyber defense education center

Thursday, September 30, 2021


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA) have designated Eastern Washington University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-C).

Eastern is the only four-year institution on the east side of the state of Washington to earn this classification. It means EWU will be a validated cyber defense program of study through 2026.

In recognizing EWU’s program, NSA cited the university’s ability to meet the increasing demands of this growing field, one that serves the nation by contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.

As part of its cyber defense initiative, Eastern’s computer science program has created regional partnerships to assess and secure critical infrastructure and provide real-time monitoring for regional municipalities. For example, through its work with the PISCES Project, EWU students blocked Russian hackers from infiltrating the city of Spokane Valley’s computer network. Students studying cyber defense have also worked with Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State to ensure election security.

“Earning this federal recognition demonstrates how EWU is leading the region in developing cybersecurity professionals to help protect the critical infrastructure of the nation,” says Stu Steiner, assistant professor of computer science at Eastern.

Experts say there is a critical shortage of professional with cybersecurity skills, which highlights the importance of higher education as a key player in defending America’s cyberspace.

The NSA director, General Paul M. Nakasone, will personally present the institution their award certificate at a date to be determined recognition ceremony.

To learn more about EWU computer science and its cybersecurity education center, click here.