The University of Alabama (UA) College of Engineering officially opened its new Cyber Security Lab during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 21.
The lab, housed under the College’s department of computer science, is designed to provide students a place to learn and apply specialized cyber security techniques and methods. The state-of-the-art technology within the lab includes 24 encrypted desktop computers, eight TV screens and three servers, which students will use to practice defending and protecting digital information from attacks.
The idea for the lab originated from associate professor of computer science Dr. Travis Atkison. With a rising number of cyber attacks in society, he felt that it is important for students majoring in cyber security to have a secure, protected environment to hone their skills. The devices in the lab are separated from UA’s main computer network, which will allow for courses to simulate real-world digital security threats to train students.
“This opening is a culmination of four years of work and planning for us, and I envision so many great things students will be able to do,” Atkison said. “All of our students will be able to benefit from the equipment and resources housed in this lab.”
Dr. Susan Vrbsky, department head of computer science, also believes the new facility will be integral in providing students a transformative educational experience. “The lab is a wonderful space for our students to share ideas, collaborate and create a cyber security student community,” Vrbsky said. To learn more about UA’s department of computer science, visit their web site.