Colleges Follow Obama’s Lead on Cybersecurity

Even his staunchest critics would admit that President Obama has done plenty to bring the issue of national cybersecurity to the fore. His administration has been expanded to add key leadership positions and departments charged with advancing American cybersecurity and literacy in the Digital Age.

As eSecurity Planet discovered, this mantra has caught on with academia and the private sector and both are now trying to educate and develop the next generation of cybersecurity experts to protect American interests from state-sponsored or renegade cyberterrorism.

Responding to Obama’s call to action, in February, the University of Maryland University College created the “National Center for Excellence for Cybersecurity.” The new program is set to kick off this fall and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity.

“UMUC’s mission is to offer top-quality education programs that respond to the needs of our state, nation and world,” said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge in a statement. “Our new undergraduate and graduate level cybersecurity programs address the critical need to protect our nation’s vital and growing cyber infrastructure and to address the serious workforce shortages of highly skilled professionals within the cybersecurity industry.”

President Obama is pushing to improve the nation’s cybersecurity defenses. He’s doing so with money and the power of the presidency. In his 2010 and 2011 budgets, Obama pumped hundreds of millions into the budget to bolster the nation’s cyber defenses, and Obama’s leadership is motivating colleges and universities to step up and train an army of cyber warriors.

Obama knows firsthand what it’s like to get hacked. In 2008, his campaign’s computer system was broken into.

“It’s no secret that my presidential campaign harnessed the Internet and technology to transform our politics,” Obama said in a May 2009 speech. “What isn’t widely known is that during the general election hackers managed to penetrate our computer systems.”

During the same speech Obama explained the impact weak cybersecurity could have on all of us.

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