Ibrahim "Abe" Baggili, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity and digital forensics, understands the importance of getting younger generations interested in cybersecurity.
That's why, in addition to helping to build the University of New Haven's programs in cybersecurity and computer science that have garnered national attention, he's focusing on getting even younger students interested in the field.
That's the mission of the University's GenCyber Agent Academy, the only free summer camp of its kind in Connecticut that is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency. An emphasis of the camp is introducing young women and individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups in cybersecurity to opportunities in the field.
As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Baggili produced a mini documentary that gives an inside look at the camp and how the University is preparing the leaders who will be at the forefront of cybersecurity, a challenge identified as "one of the defining issues of our time" by the National Science Foundation.
"At the University of New Haven we embrace teaching cybersecurity concepts starting at a young age," said Baggili, the University's Elder Family Endowed Chair of Cybersecurity and Computer Science and founder of the University's Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group.
"We are passionate about involving underrepresented minority students in this effort and teaching skills to the future generation of the cybersecurity workforce that will protect our nation," he continued.
"We are passionate about involving underrepresented minority students in this effort and teaching skills to the future generation of the cybersecurity workforce that will protect our nation."Ibrahim "Abe" Baggili, Ph.D.
Why is this so important? By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures, the world's leading researcher for the global cyber economy, predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled positions in cybersecurity worldwide, creating potential vulnerabilities that could impact everything from elections and protecting businesses to safeguarding individuals' personal privacy, said Baggili.
"I'm driven by a passion to make the world safer – for my wife, my two daughters, and for people all over the world," he said. "Our efforts will play a critical role in helping to address the talent gap in the cybersecurity field."
"We need all the best and brightest minds to take on the greatest challenges facing the next generation," added Liberty Page, coordinator of the University's undergraduate program in cybersecurity and networks, and the lead instructor for the University's GenCyber Academy, who has extensive experience as a programmer, analyst, and software manager for Fortune 500 companies.
A central component of the current phase of the University's Charger Challenge Centennial campaign is the "Securing Our Future" initiative, which endeavors to establish a named school of Cybersecurity, Computing, and Artificial Intelligence, develop a state-of-the-art facility featuring expanded lab space, create new student scholarships, and fund additional endowed professorships.
"The University of New Haven is on a path to become the best cybersecurity and cyber forensics university in the country – and that's what we are going to do," says Baggili. "It's a mindset of success."