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Western Illinois University earns national cybersecurity designation | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Western Illinois University’s bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity has earned the “National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense” (NCAE-CD) designation, landing the school formal U.S. government recognition for its robust efforts and programming in cybersecurity. 

The National Security Agency manages NCAE-CD programs, partnering with other federal actors like the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Science Foundation. In order to earn the NCAE-CD designation, WIU had to face an in-depth assessment and meet rigorous requirements from the overseeing agencies. 

In a news release, computer sciences professor Binto George said WIU’s program is built on computer science and networking foundations, offering a “comprehensive major” in cybersecurity. 

“Students also have the opportunity to take other non-technical courses and directed electives,” he said. “Further, our program is required to be continuously assessed and improved as per the CAE guidelines, under the guidance of an external advisory board that currently comprises experts with industry, military and business experience.” 

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WIU’s newly established Cybersecurity Center acts as the resource for its cybersecurity curriculum and practice, offering program guidance and oversight, general cyberdefense information and collaborative opportunities for WIU students, faculty and other peer institutions. 

“We are proud to do our part in preparing our students to defend national security and protect the cybersecurity infrastructure,” George added. “This success opens up great opportunities for further collaboration with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security to educate our students with knowledge and skills needed on their journey to meet the huge demand for cybersecurity professionals.”

For more information on WIU’s Cybersecurity Center, visit

Col. Todd Allison, U.S. Army Garrison Rock Island Arsenal, speaks at Western Illinois University Quad Cities Campus Monday morning during a ceremony celebrating the renewal of an educational agreement between WIU and the Arsenal called the Army Continuing Education System (ACES).

Sarah Hayden


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National Cyber Security