SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — With an eye toward training current and future cybercrime investigators, Cal Poly has worked with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the California National Guard and other statewide partners to develop the California Cyber Training Complex (CCTC), a new cyber education center and collaboration space at the California National Guard’s Camp San Luis Obispo.
The first active facility at the CCTC, the Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab (CCCFL), was unveiled this morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by District Attorney Dan Dow and other members of local law enforcement, along with Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and California National Guard Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin.
Under the District Attorney’s management, CCCFL will provide participating law enforcement agencies with access to high-tech evidence collection capabilities. This will allow investigators to collect cyber evidence in a way that’s legally compliant with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, so it can be admitted into court by prosecutors.
“The landscape of collecting, preserving, investigating and prosecuting both cybercrime and conventional crime involving mobile computing has dramatically changed during the past five years,” said Lee Cunningham, assistant district attorney for San Luis Obispo County. “We need access to cyber training across the full spectrum of first responders, investigators and prosecutors to keep up with the bad guys and to effectively communicate cyber evidence to judges and juries.”
In addition to the forensics lab, the CCTC also houses an academic training facility and a cyber test range with an experimental laboratory. The complex will serve as a statewide hub, providing a crucial training ground and collaboration space for current and future cyber defenders in California. The central location at Camp San Luis Obispo allows for law enforcement specialists and military personnel to have access to the latest tools, technical support, training, and superior bandwidth, all in a protected environment.
“The CCTC is a joint initiative between the California National Guard and Cal Poly to train law enforcement and military cyber security personnel across the state,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, adjutant general of the California National Guard. “A key component in our cybersecurity effort is the California National Guard’s newest Cyber Protection Team. Based at Camp San Luis Obispo, it will work closely with the CCTC to defend the cyber security of our state and nation.”
As an extension of Cal Poly’s Cybersecurity Center, the CCTC also aims to educate the next generation cyber workforce and provide faculty and students with a new, hands-on research and learning environment.
“We are thrilled to work with the District Attorney’s Office, the California National Guard and our other partners to create a place where Cal Poly students can work closely with experts at the leading edge of the battle against cybercrime and develop the skills to be tomorrow’s industry leaders,” President Armstrong said.
For Cal Poly, which has been increasingly focused on cybersecurity education, the complex’s location is an ideal fit. Located just five miles from campus, the top-notch facility is readily available to the university.
“The CCTC is an extended Learn by Doing space,” said Cal Poly Cybersecurity Center Director William J. “Bill” Britton. “It offers Cal Poly students the opportunity to train and test tactics side by side with cyber forensics experts and explore new cyber technologies, enabling Cal Poly to develop cyber-ready graduates.”
Last November, the CCTC hosted its first training class, “Cyber Forensics for First Responders,” which included participants from 13 Central Coast law enforcement agencies. Another training was held for local law enforcement in January. Cal Poly developed the curriculum for both, which included the basics of digital evidence collection and preservation, insight into new legislation impacting the legal aspects of digital evidence and collection tools. During its first full year of operations, the program is expected to train 1,000 first-responders at Camp San Luis Obispo.
For more information, visit cctc.calpoly.edu.