New Academic Facility in Akron, Ohio, to Fight Cybercrime

The R.C. Musson and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation ICS Testbed at the University of Akron, which held a grand opening Monday morning, aims to fight cybercrime through testing and training.

by Jennifer Pignolet, Akron Beacon Journal / December 10, 2019
Shutterstock

(TNS) — Laptops line the rows of desks facing a lectern and two large television screens, but this is no ordinary classroom at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

This classroom fights crime.

The R.C. Musson and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation ICS Testbed, which held a grand opening Monday morning, aims to fight cybercrime through testing and training.

The 2,000-square-foot facility on the fourth floor of the Polksy Building will serve as a simulation lab, known as a testbed, for IT professionals at Northeast Ohio manufacturing companies to practice identifying and responding to threats that could attack their companies.

"It's the only public testbed in the state at a university that companies can utilize for network simulation, which is very critical for workforce development and training," the university said in a release. "The testbed will allow companies to develop and update skills and strategies needed to monitor and manage cyberthreats without putting actual operating systems at risk."

The room contains 40 workstations "equipped with high-performance 1-terabyte Dell computers in a secure intranet setting that cannot be penetrated from the outside."

Funding for the facility came from the R.C. Musson and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, the Timken Foundation of Canton and The University of Akron Women's Committee.

Students in the university's cybersecurity degree track also will use of the facility. The degree track launched in 2018 and had about 200 students enrolled this fall.

In January, UA joined the Ohio Cyber Range, a network established to train the cybersecurity workforce in industries like government, the public and private sectors, the military and education entities.

©2019 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Platforms & Programs