CSSIA | National Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance


National Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance
Palos Hills, IL

John Sands
(708) 955-5426



CSSIA Educates Students & Faculty About Cybersecurity

CSSIA provides subject-matter expertise to bridge institutional curriculum to cybersecurity workforce skills and national standards. The center provides relevant and innovative faculty development opportunities with workshops and conferences.

Over the last 10 years, CSSIA has mentored, established, and expanded cybersecurity degree and certificate programs in about 30 states. Its Cyber Security Center for Teaching and Learning has educated more than 3,500 instructors about cybersecurity threats, emerging technologies, and products.

Its Virtual Data Center (VDC) provides students at more than 120 institutions with 24-hour, seven-day-per-week access to virtual learning exercises that utilize a wide range of scenarios.

Educators also use the VDC to make their classrooms safe environments for students to experiment at no additional cost to their institutions.

CSSIA Builds Diverse Industry Collaborations

CSSIA has built strong relationships with business and industry leaders responsible for information assurance. These partnerships include employers in health care, finance, manufacturing, service industries, transportation, and energy. CSSIA performs workforce needs assessments and skills assessments, and identifies new and emerging technologies for its business partners. Business partners, meanwhile, assist CSSIA with curriculum content, skills-based exercises, and innovative elements threaded into local and national skills competitions.

CSSIA Reaches Out to Underserved Populations

CSSIA offers job fairs, résumé reviews, and mock interview sessions, and facilitates internships for students at its partner institutions. The center focuses particular attention on recruiting military veterans and underrepresented populations for careers in cybersecurity. It partners with the Association of Computer Information Sciences, the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and faculty to strengthen the information assurance and cybersecurity programs at minority-serving institutions.

Virtualization Data Center Sharpens Students’ Cybersecurity Skills

More than 120 institutions utilize CSSIA’s Virtualization Data Center (VDC). Meanwhile, more than 1,200 students have used the VDC to prepare for cybersecurity competitions, and more than 7,500 students have used the system to prepare for cybersecurity employment. Employers report that they value the hands-on experiential learning the VDC allows.