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Marshall University breaks ground on Institute for Cyber Security | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK)- Marshall University broke ground Friday on the Institute for Cyber Security, an addition to their Huntington campus that will serve as the training ground to prepare students for defending against cyber attacks.

This all started in August 2023, when Governor Jim Justice signed off on House Bill 117. This bill allocated $45 million to Marshall University to begin building the new institute. On top of this, the United States Department of Defense donated $5 million to fund the program last year, and is donating $14 million this year, as well as $15 million in 2025.

Marshall University already offers degrees in cyber security, but according to school officials, this new institute’s focus will be designing infrastructure to defend against cyber attacks. The curriculum will evolve as new threats emerge.

To put it into perspective, over 880,000 criminal complaints were filed due to cyber attacks in 2023, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report of 2023. $12.5 billion were also potentially stolen for good due to cyber attacks.

Lieutenant General Robert J. Skinner, a Commander in the United States Cyber Command, said that Marshall was selected due to their high national rankings in collegiate cyber attack courses.

“It’s close enough to the Washington D.C. area but not too close. So we’re able to expand the population that we can leverage. There’s a lot of talent in West Virginia, and I’d say there’s a lot of talent in Midwest America and that’s what we want to harvest,” said Skinner.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) helped break ground at the construction site, and she’s been involved with the project since the beginning. She shared her thoughts on some benefits West Virginia as a whole could see with this new cyber security institution.

“What it will provide to us is an international draw into our state for the simple reason that we have the most excellent training for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. But for me, feel a great sense of pride to have West Virginia be the leader here,” said Sen. Capito.

The Institute for Cyber Security will feature 13 research laboratories for student, faculty, and government use. The new building will also have classrooms and a conference room dedicated to teaching community members more about the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks.

Brad Smith, the President of Marshall University, said that this new institute’s benefits won’t just apply to active Marshall students.

“The amazing thing about the Institute for Cyber Security is that it’s going to be a resource for the community, for the students, for the alumni, for industry and obviously for the government. So students who have come through the program will have the opportunity to come back, take advantage of the assets, and continue their education,” said Smith.

School officials say construction on the Institute for Cyber Security will be finished in the Fall of 2026.


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