(844) 627-8267
(844) 627-8267

PSU, UO, OSU form center to boost Oregon cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Three of Oregon’s largest universities are teaming up to launch the Oregon Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to improve the state’s resilience to cyberattacks.

The center, made up of cybersecurity experts from Portland State University, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University, will act as an advisory body to the governor and the state legislature.

The center will also focus on cybersecurity workforce development and will help school districts, libraries and local governments with unmet cybersecurity needs. The schools will begin work later in January.

The center, which will be based at Portland State University, was created under House Bill 2049 — which Gov. Kotek signed into law in July 2023.

“Cyberattacks hit public agencies, private businesses and individuals daily. Malicious actors are demanding ransom payment in exchange for access to stolen data,” said state Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who co-sponsored the bill. “Oregon school districts, cities, and businesses aren’t just vulnerable — they are being attacked.”

“HB 2049 marks a significant stride in fortifying Oregon’s digital defense by establishing the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, a hub for enhancing cybersecurity expertise and resources across public, private, and educational sectors,” State Sen. Aaron Woods said. “The center will boost Oregon’s cybersecurity workforce and help fortify Oregon against evolving digital threats.” 

Birol Yesilada – a PSU professor and director of the university’s Mark O. Hatfield Cybersecurity and Cyber Defense Center — will serve as the center’s first director.

“The opportunity for having such a profound societal impact and working with all these stakeholders make our involvement in the Center uniquely exciting,” Yesilada said.

Officials noted having three major universities involved in this type of project is rare; however, UO professor and Computer Science department head, Reza Rejaie, points out that each school offers their own unique experience to help the state against cyberattacks.

“Universities are uniquely positioned to establish or extend relationships with various stakeholders, and collectively offer the required expertise and experiences to support, coordinate, and execute wide range of envisioned activities to address Cybersecurity challenges across the state,” Rejaie said. 

“It is also helpful that the three schools, and the people involved, work incredibly well together — it is a great team,” said Rakesh Bobba, associate professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at OSU, who joins Rejaie and Yesilada at the Center as an associate director. “I’m especially excited by the workforce development opportunities in cybersecurity the Center will help create, and the direct impact this will have on improving Oregon’s cybersecurity posture.”

Efforts to bolster cybersecurity in the state come after Beaverton School District announced a “security incident” may have compromised students’ password for email, Google, Canvas and other learning platforms in November.

In June 2023, a massive data breach at the Oregon Department of Transportation impacted 90% of Oregonians’ drivers licenses and state IDs. The hack was part of a global data breach involving the data software MOVEit Transfer earlier in the month.


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security