Southern University (SU) marked National Cybersecurity Awareness Month with a major development. The college has received $1.65 million from the National Science Foundation to study cybersecurity for 3D printing. According to the historically black college and university (HBCU), students will be able to use virtual reality to study how cyber-attacks on 3D files can cause changes that might not be easily detected during the printing process.

“This project at SU will create the first cyber security ‘spine’ in an engineering program at a historically black college or university while training our students in an area of critical need,” Karen E. Crosby, principal investigator and faculty member in the College of Sciences and Engineering, said in a statement.

Southern University researchers are also designing an elective course on cybersecurity for a freshman- to senior-level in mechanical engineering. Earlier this year, Southern announced plans to train professionals through its Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity.

In April, Southern entered into a partnership with one of the largest centers for cybersecurity near the Marine Corps Base Quantico. The university, along with the Southern University System Foundation, launched a new Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity with X Corp Solutions.

“This is a game-changer for Southern and an example of how we respond to the demands of our society,” said Ray L. Belton, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University Baton Rouge. “For nearly 140 years, we have heeded the call for career readiness. We continue that today by adding cybersecurity to our portfolio of academic offerings.”

Classroom lectures taking place at the Quantico Corporate Center can be broadcast back to classrooms at Southern’s campuses. Additionally, Southern will assist X Corp and the ACL in creating certification programs for professionals already working in the cybersecurity field, or those hoping to join it.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies helps citizens find the education and training they need to advance their careers and close the skill gaps in the cybersecurity workforce. Courses in the training catalog are cybersecurity-focused and delivered by universities, National Centers of Academic Excellence, federal agencies, and other training providers.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safe online. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Cyber Security Alliance co-lead National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

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