A $100,000 grant from the Silicon Valley Foundation will help Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) protect critical infrastructures, starting with a hackathon on November 4.
The grant will help promote cybersecurity for both private and public infrastructure. Critical infrastructure vital to the country’s economic well-being and health and security has sectors in financial services, government facilities, healthcare, and agriculture. CCI will be able to research infrastructure protection with private industry, academia and public entities, including policymakers.
“This grant is focused on synergizing these three pieces, so we can have actionable solutions to our cyber vulnerabilities on critical infrastructure,” said CCI Program Director Martin Minnich.
The research’s results will be shared in conferences, webinars and direct communication with public and private sector decision makers, according to Minnich.
CCI represents a multi-agency effort to protect California with cybercrime forensics and statewide tactical response training. It has three buildings, including a forensics lab, a training, and operations center and a digital range for research and scenario-based training. It also provides a Learn By Doing space for Cal Poly students as they experience live immersion training with cyber technologies. They also test tactics with law enforcement and cyber forensic professionals.
The first initiative with the grant money will be the hackathon on November 3-4. Cal Poly students will work with IT professionals to find new ways to identify, isolate and remediate vulnerabilities related to the “internet of things,” or any device that can connect to the internet.
“Cal Poly students can walk away with Learn by Doing experiences that tie directly back to critical infrastructure,” Minnich said.