Building the Future: Global Cybersecurity Institute
Critical Cyber Space
For too long, cybersecurity has been an afterthought. In a preemptive strike on cybersecurity threats across the world, RIT has created the ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute (GCI). With the new 52,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on campus, RIT is on its way to becoming one of the best places in the world for cybersecurity education, training, and research.
RIT is taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity. The ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute is a space where people from different academic disciplines, industry, and government are collaborating to expand cybersecurity knowledge and make it useable in the real world.
In the three-story cybersecurity institute, experts are coming together to train new professionals and students, as well as push the frontiers of research.
The Inspiration and Gifts
The ESL GCI was made possible in part with designated funding from a donation made by RIT alumnus Austin McChord ’09 and a $5 million grant from New York state, awarded competitively through its Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program. In addition, ESL Federal Credit Union made a $3 million commitment to help RIT in addressing the importance of cybersecurity as a discipline and profession, and the computing security hub has been named the ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute. Thanks to a more than $3.3 million contribution from IBM, the Cyber Range has also been equipped with some of the best Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products on the market.
These donations are part of Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness, a $1 billion university fundraising effort, the largest in university history.
Cyber training center
- At the heart of GCI is the Cyber Range and Training Center, a virtual and physical lab that allows people to simulate network cyberattacks and problem-solving scenarios. Businesses can come to the range to prepare their employees for cyber incidents, and students use the space to conduct ethical hacks during cybersecurity competitions.
- The Cyber Range also hosts RIT’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp—a 15-week immersive training course that helps people switch careers and join the cybersecurity workforce.
- The Cybersecurity Learning Experience Center teaches the general public about cybersecurity.
Next generation of cyber defenders
The GCI has several lab spaces to help train the next generation of cybersecurity defenders studying in RIT’s computing security degree programs, including:
- Network Security Lab.
- Two security instructional labs.
- Air Gap Lab that gives students the ability to work with dangerous malware, while staying safely sealed off from the rest of campus and the internet.
- Space for students in the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program.
- RITSEC headquarters, for the university’s cybersecurity student club.
- RIT is nationally recognized for cybersecurity education, having been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and in Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
- The GCI’s third floor is devoted to researchers tackling some of the most pressing cybersecurity problems of today and tomorrow.
- RIT researchers are creating more secure vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology to help make self-driving cars safer.
- Researchers are also developing methods and tools to help all software engineers develop secure code at the design phase.
- One team is creating tools to help journalists better identify deepfake videos.
- Home to the Eaton Cybersecurity SAFE (Security Assessment and Forensic Examination) Lab, where students get experience performing penetration tests and vulnerability analysis on technology created by companies
What They are Saying
When you walk into the Cyber Range, you can experience what a cyberattack is really like. For cybersecurity experts and anyone involved in real-life cyberattacks, this is a giant sandbox where you can prepare and train without getting hurt.
Director of the GCI Cyber Range and Training Center
ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences