West Virginia State University Receiving $1 million from Google to Launch Cybersecurity Clinic

West Virginia State University Receiving $1 million from Google to Launch Cybersecurity Clinic 
In collaboration with the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics, Google.org will provide funding, volunteers and in-kind support to establish the WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic 
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) has been selected to receive $1 million in grant funding and wraparound support from Google’s Cybersecurity Clinics Fund to establish the WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic. The funding from Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, is part of a $25 million collaboration with the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics

Cybersecurity clinics at higher education institutions provide free digital security services to under-resourced organizations, similar to how law or medical schools offer free community clinics. The new WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic will give WVSU students the opportunity to learn cybersecurity and AI skills in an effective, hands-on manner while simultaneously helping to protect vulnerable organizations and critical infrastructure, such as local small businesses, hospitals, schools, and energy grids, from cyber attacks.

According to the World Economic Forum's 2024 Global Risks Report, cyber insecurity remains one of the top 10 global risks over the next 10 years. Currently, there are nearly 450,000 open cybersecurity jobs available in the U.S,and demand for cyber professionals is projected to grow 32% by 2033. To ensure that communities, critical infrastructure and businesses big and small across the U.S. are secure, we need a skilled, diverse and AI savvy cybersecurity workforce.

“We are extremely thankful to Google.org for this investment in West Virginia State University that will allow us to continue to grow our cutting edge cybersecurity program,” said WVSU President Ericke S. Cage. “Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing fields in today’s economy and we are committed to providing our students with the tools and training that they need in order to meet the demands of the job market.”

The WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic, together with the WVSU Cybersecurity Innovation Center (CIC), are dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity across critical infrastructure sectors against cyber threats. Its mission revolves around innovation, education, and collaboration, ensuring a resilient and secure cyber environment. 

The WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic will prioritize hands-on training utilizing WVSU’s cutting edge CyberHive, a physical critical infrastructure Industrial Control System. This state-of-the-art lab offers immersive experiences for operators, high school students, and undergraduate computer science students. 

The WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic and CIC actively engage in cybersecurity research to develop innovative solutions for protecting critical infrastructure, aiming to contribute to the advancement of cybersecurity knowledge and practices. Community outreach is integral to WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic’s mission, providing cybersecurity services and awareness programs to empower individuals and organizations with the knowledge to defend against cyber threats effectively. 

“The world is in a moment where emerging technologies, like AI, are creating both new opportunities and threats in the world of cybersecurity,” said Heather Adkins, VP of Security Engineering at Google. “It’s essential that we invest in growing a strong, diverse and widespread cybersecurity workforce to help protect everyone - from critical infrastructure to small businesses and schools. The 15 clinics that we’re helping to establish serve a wide variety of students across all corners of the U.S. and we’re excited to see the impact they’ll have in their local communities.”

"Google's transformative investment is catalyzing cybersecurity for the public good,” says Ann Cleaveland, co-founder and co-chair of the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics and Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. “We congratulate the recipients and applaud these awards, which propel forward the vision of the Consortium to establish a cybersecurity clinic in every U.S. state by 2030."

The WVSU Cybersecurity Clinic is one of 15 new clinics set to launch in 2024 at higher education institutions across the country, thanks to a collaboration from Google and the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics.  In addition to $1 million in Google.org funding, the tech company is offering West Virginia State University volunteer mentorship from Google employees, Google Titan Security Keys, and scholarships for the Google Career Certificate in Cybersecurity Learn more on Google’s blog  and the Consortium’s website.

The announcement builds on Google’s 2023 support for 10 clinics, part of a combined commitment to launch 25 Google-supported cyber clinics nationwide by 2025. With the latest round of funding, Google.org has now committed more than $25 million toward creating the diverse and AI- and digital-security savvy workforce needed to protect critical U.S. infrastructure from cyber attacks. 

For more information contact WVSU Cybersecurity Center Director Dr. Ali Al-Sinayyid at ali.alsinayyid@wvstateu.edu or (304) 766-3391.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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