Lenovo has contributed $25k to support the mission of the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research (C-CER) at Shaw University. C-CER exists to establish a pipeline for underrepresented minorities into the cybersecurity workforce through academic offerings, cutting-edge research, and community outreach. In achieving this mission, C-CER will begin offering a Cyber Operations program starting during the fall 2022 academic year. This program makes Shaw University the only HBCU and the only university in the state of North Carolina with this type of program. "This gifts signifies Lenovo's willingness to invest in the mission of C-CER and Shaw University" says Dr. James Brown, Director of C-CER. "We can continue developing programming to help build the next generation of cybersecurity professionals".
The Cyber Operations program focuses on two critical areas within cybersecurity: ethical hacking and malware analysis. Ethical hacking involves the assessment and evaluation of systems and networks through the use of penetration testing and vulnerability assessment tools. Ethical hackers are employed to identify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a network through offensive measures so the network owners can better prepare for an "actual" attack. Malware analysis seeks to evaluate the behavior and logical execution of computer viruses to build a profile from which tools can be designed or configured to mitigate.
In January 2022, C-CER also established the Cy(Bear)security Research Group focused on Internet of Things security using artificial immune systems and machine learning. Students researchers are learning networking, security, Python/Java programming, and full-stack development to build cutting-edge intrusion detection systems. The Lenovo gift will be used to offer scholarships to the student research and fund the purchase of computing equipment to continue their research.