National and local cybersecurity experts joined the University community to launch the Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Cybersecurity Center, which is the home of the only NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations in Connecticut.
February 25, 2020
Diane M. Janosek, an award-winning cybersecurity leader, innovator, and the National Security Agency's commandant and training director for the National Cryptologic School (NCS), has seen the impact that cyberattacks can have on people and organizations – including banks, schools, and governments.
She visited campus recently for the dedication of the University's Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Cybersecurity Center, calling it a "wonderful day for the state of Connecticut and the University."
"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when a cyberattack is going to occur," said Janosek, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Affiliate of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), in her keynote address. "Are we going to say attacks are okay? No, we're going to defend ourselves, and that's what the University is doing."
Last year, the University was designated by the NSA as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, making it one of only two in New England – and 21 nationally – to earn this prestigious distinction. The University, which established the first WiCyS chapter in Connecticut, also has received a $4 million National Science Foundation grant to establish the state's first CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program to prepare students to work with federal, state, or local government organizations to prevent cyberattacks.
Ibrahim (Abe) Baggili, Ph.D., Elder Family Endowed Chair, assistant dean of the University's Tagliatela College of Engineering, and an internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity and digital forensics, says the new Cybersecurity Center advances the important work the University is doing in the field of cybersecurity, and, more broadly, in technology.
"The University's future is to become a technology hub for Connecticut," said Baggili, founder and executive director of the University of New Haven's Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group and executive director of the Bergami Cybersecurity Center. "This center is a launching pad for this vision."
"We look forward to the many important discoveries students will make through their work in the Cybersecurity Center and to seeing the impact their work has in the future."Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony brought together members of the University community, as well as national and local cybersecurity experts from a wide range of companies and organizations, including Netflix, Lockheed Martin, the MITRE Corporation, and the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.
The Cybersecurity Center was named in honor of Samuel S. Bergami Jr. '85 EMBA, '02 Hon., president and CEO of Alinabal, a Milford-based diversified manufacturer, who is a member of the University's Board of Governors, and a former Board chair. He and his wife, Lois, are among the University's most devoted benefactors.
"Since I met Abe, I have been impressed by his passion and his plans for the University's cybersecurity program," said Bergami. "He has done incredible work creating a program that has gained national recognition and earned the respect of some of the most influential organizations in the country dedicated to cybersecurity. We look forward to the many important discoveries students will make through their work in the Cybersecurity Center and to seeing the impact their work has in the future."
Students at the University have conducted research that, among other discoveries, has uncovered security vulnerabilities in social media applications affecting 1.5 billion people worldwide. The Cybersecurity Center is also home to the only cyber forensics research laboratory in Connecticut.
"We are celebrating the spirit of people at the University of New Haven," said Janosek, "I envision great things happening – and continuing to happen – here."