The New York Institute of Technology recently opened its new cybersecurity lab on the Old Westbury campus.
Nada Anid, dean of the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, said the school has already been working in cybersecurity, offering one of the few master’s degrees in information networks and cybersecurity in 2005 as well as adding concentrations for undergraduate students in the information technology and computer science tracks.
Anid said the facility was funded by the university and a $400,000 Empire State Development grant.
“Empire State Development is proud to support NYIT’s new cybersecurity lab and the advancements in innovation, engineering and tech that it will catalyze,” Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky said. “Long Island is rapidly emerging as a hub for the 21st century economy and 21st century jobs, and New York’s commitment to this project builds on that momentum.”
Anid said, “We want to change the economic development on Long Island, and our focus has been in three areas: information technology and cybersecurity, bioengineering and medical devices, and energy and clean technology.”
Anid said the university also hosts an annual cybersecurity conference in September with government officials, professors and corporations for a symposium about new topics in the field. Cybersecurity issues can affect smartphones, smart cars, transportation systems, unmanned vehicles and some medical devices.
Anid said the university recently had presentations on different implantable medical devices, and there is a risk of outside attacks for some of them.
The university is the first lab on Long Island designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security and is using the facilities “to prepare the talent and the workforce of tomorrow,” she said.
The university also offers a business incubator through the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center for start-up businesses to have a space and some resources to develop their mission and strategy.
Cybersecurity is an important aspect of technology, Anid said, because the threats are invisible and can affect a wide range of users.
“It’s ubiquitous. It can affect private individual users and it can affect entire institutions,” Anid said. “We heard about breaches to the Pentagon and Sony and Yahoo and Uber. Every month we hear about a new breach. These are all very costly attacks to our institutions, whether they’re government or a corporation. It’s a threat that is hidden and we can’t see.”