Spy U: NYU Poly a rare 3-for-3 on NSA Centers of Excellence - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Aug. 18, 2014 11:10 am

Spy U: NYU Poly a rare 3-for-3 on NSA Centers of Excellence

An NSA program certifies U.S. universities as Centers of Academic Excellence in three areas. As of last week, NYU Poly has all three.

NYU Poly professor Nasir Memon in the Information Systems and Internet Security lab, a hackerspace for students interested in cybersecurity.

(Photo courtesy of NYU Poly)

The National Security Agency has three programs where it certifies universities as Centers of Academic Excellence: one in Information Assurance Education, another in Information Assurance Research and, most recently, in Cyber Operations. (Weirdly, though the program is in its third year, it still isn’t listed on the NSA website.)

As of last week, NYU Poly is one of just a handful of schools to have attained all three distinctions.

The cyber operations certificate was awarded in a ceremony last Thursday. NYU Poly professor Tom Reddington accepted the certificate on behalf of the university from the NSA’s Steven LaFountain. NYU Poly staffers said only about four or five universities have all three.

Centers of Excellence schools are assigned a liaison to the NSA, called a SEAL, to identify areas of mutual research and education interest and to help identify future government employees.

You can see the list of NSA Centers of Excellence institutions here.

NYU Poly professor Nasir Memon brought cybersecurity studies to the school before it became buzzy. One of his most interesting projects is a hackerspace for students to work both on cyber offense and defense, called the Information Systems and Internet Security lab.

Steven LaFountain, NSA

Steven LaFountain, who heads up the accreditation program at the NSA, speaking before presenting the certificate. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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