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Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and CyberForce LLC create Cybersecurity Center of Excellence for Critical Infrastructure

First Public Academia - Private collaboration for CyberSecurity Lab for Critical Infrastructure to help address growing gap in ICS CyberSecurity resources
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and CyberForce LLC today announced their collaboration to create a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and Lab for Critical Infrastructure (CCoE). Established in CyberForce LLC’s offices in Reston, Va., the CCoE has a focus on Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cybersecurity. It will have modular ICS environments for different Critical Infrastructure Industry sectors including Electric Utilities, Oil & Gas, Chemical and Water.
“This NOVA initiative with CyberForce to advance capabilities in Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure industries is an example of innovative collaboration between public sector academia and the commonwealth’s vibrant technology industry to advance Virginia’s and national priorities of providing industry-ready students in the priority area of Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Protection,” said Dr. Scott Ralls, president of NOVA.
“This collaboration with NOVA, a leading member of public sector academia in our great state, is an important step for CyberForce to advance the collective interests of the industry, state and nation to expand expertise in Cybersecurity to protect Critical Infrastructure,” said Shekhar Tiwari, founder and chairman of CyberForce.
Dr. Margaret Leary, Chair of the Edward H. Bersoff Cybersecurity, Endowed Professor, Director National CyberWatch Center, Northern Virginia Community College and the co-creator of the COE-lab said, “With Virginia’s Smart Cities initiative, the CoECI serves as a collaborative area to train Cybersecurity interns from NOVA on ICS environments, Cybersecurity solutions and specialized Cybersecurity products in support of their NSA/DHS designated Center of Academic Excellence for Two-Year Colleges (CAE27) curriculum.”
“The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence for Critical Infrastructure is a unique collaboration that benefits multiple stakeholders. Our industry partners benefit as interns emerge as industry-ready personnel, knowledgeable in industry standards and pre-trained on their leading Cybersecurity hardware and software,” said Bimal Sareen, Co-Founder and Board Member of CyberForce.
“The fundamental cultural challenges of differences in Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure, especially in ICS dominated Operational Technology (OT) and their Information Technology (IT) environments, will be a salient feature of the CCoE,” added Sareen.
CCoE partners will also be able to invite customers to view demonstrations of their equipment/technologies in simulated environments and will be able to conduct industry training for their customers.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.