State Legislature approves $1 million for Auburn University’s expanding focus on cyber security

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University is expanding its research, education, workforce development and economic development in the growing cyber security field. As one of the strategic initiatives supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research, cyber continues to be a focus for Auburn University.

Government officials report that cyber espionage ranks among the top threats to the U.S.

“Cyber concerns range from disabling the electrical grid to hacking into financial institutions to stealing intellectual property,” said retired Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess.

Burgess is the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and now serves as senior counsel for Auburn’s cyber, national security and military programs.

The Alabama State Legislature recently approved $1 million for Auburn’s cyber security center. House leadership led by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and Education Budget Committee Chairman Jay Love persuaded leadership in the Senate to invest in Auburn’s cyber capabilities and its economic development potential. State Sen. Tom Whatley helped secure Senate support during the budget process.

Educating a workforce prepared to defend against cyber crimes is a priority, said Professor Bob Norton, who trains Auburn students and industry officials.

“The threat to our infrastructure, commerce and security will only continue to grow,” Norton said. “The state and national economy depend on a workforce capable of protecting us against it.”

Contact: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)