Automation Alley, Oakland University to Open Cybersecurity Center | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

TROY, Mich., June 20, 2023 – Automation Alley has been awarded $2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) to create a university-based cybersecurity center in Michigan.

The Oakland University Cybersecurity Center will leverage the expertise of several strategic partners, including Oakland University, Fraunhofer USA, SensCy, and GRIMM Cyber. The team will focus on R&D and insights that will result in capabilities that reduce the risk of power disruption from a cyber-incident for energy delivery systems, and education that enables cybersecurity by design in the energy sector.

This Cybersecurity Center will:

  • Be one of several DOE-funded university-based cybersecurity centers created to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical energy infrastructure.
  • Collaborate with other DOE-funded centers while focusing primarily on the needs in the state of Michigan related to enhancing the security of energy systems.
  • Focus on reducing the impacts of disruptive cybersecurity attacks through preparation, innovation, and collaboration with other government agencies as well as the private sector.
  • Provide opportunities for students to enter cybersecurity careers through internships and apprenticeships in the energy, automotive and electric/gas utilities industries.
  • Train cybersecurity professionals on how to establish strong protections to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of systems for industrial espionage, intellectual property theft, IP leakage, or even production sabotage.
  • Help develop workforce in challenging areas including Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber Resilience, digital forensic science, malware analysis and ransomware detection, and other cyber-attacks on cyber physical systems (CPS) and disinformation detection.

“Companies today face unprecedented cybersecurity risks,” said Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley. “This Cybersecurity Center will address the cybersecurity threats for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in the energy sector, including the automotive industry and electric/gas utilities providers transitioning to Industry 4.0. It will provide education, training, and research opportunities to help them predict, detect, and repair cyber-attacks for grid and energy infrastructures.”

“The establishment of a Cybersecurity Center at Oakland University will build upon the momentum we are creating regarding research, curriculum, and community outreach around cybersecurity,” added Marouane Kessentini, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Oakland University. “With this funding, we aim to support critical infrastructure owners and operators while also strengthening our future and current workforce through crucial cybersecurity training.”

“CESER is proud to support regional projects like the Cybersecurity Center at Oakland University,” said CESER Director Puesh Kumar. “We believe in the power of partnering with academia and industry to enable research opportunities that lead to a more secure energy system in the U.S. and also contribute to the development of our workforce.”


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National Cyber Security