MURRAY – The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated Murray State’s Telecommunications Systems Management (TSM) program as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through 2024.

“This is a prestigious national recognition for our cybersecurity area,” said Dr. Danny Claiborne, Institute of Engineering department chair. “Our faculty worked diligently to complete an outstanding proposal, assessment and portfolio under the leadership of Dr. Abdul Yarali and the writing team of Dr. Randall Joyce and Brandon Dixon.”

Institutions are chosen and accredited based on their degree programs and alignment to specific cybersecurity-related curriculum knowledge units, validated by subject matter experts in the field. This designation plays an important role in addressing a shortage of cybersecurity professionals and highlights the importance of higher education in defending America’s cyberspace.  Graduates from CAE-CDE designated programs are equipped with the skills to help protect national security information systems, commercial networks, and critical information infrastructure in the private and public sectors.

“I am very pleased that our undergraduate cybersecurity curriculum was recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security,” said Dr. Abdul Yarali, TSM program coordinator. “This designation will set us apart in relation to other cybersecurity programs throughout the nation.”

“The cybersecurity field is one of the fastest-growing and adapting fields in both the public and commercial sectors of industry,” said TSM program alumnus and Microsoft senior security consultant Hunter Evans. “I am overwhelmed with pride for my alma mater as this is a very exciting time to be involved in the age of information technology and cybersecurity.”

The CAE-CDE designation will allow the TSM/cybersecurity program to continue its focus on providing experiential hands-on training in a real world environment to become professionals with cybersecurity expertise. This designation also makes students eligible for special research grants and scholarships.

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