Rep. Titus Highlights Southern Nevada Cybersecurity Initiatives
Emphasized the Importance of University Resources to Strengthen Small Business Cyber Hygiene
Las Vegas, Nevada, August 11, 2022 | Sara Severens (202-924-1719)
Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) was joined by National Cyber Director Chris Inglis and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly to tour the Cybersecurity Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Today, Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, was joined by National Cyber Director Chris Inglis and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly to tour the Cybersecurity Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
The UNLV Cybersecurity Center has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Sponsored jointly by the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, the program’s goal is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense. The Cybersecurity Center hosts academic programs for UNLV students, a GenCyber camp for high school students, a lab, and an annual Blockchain Day event.
The Center also has a Free Cyber Clinic Project, established in 2021 through the College of Engineering, to help small businesses mitigate cybersecurity risks at no cost. Services include interviews, education, onsite security auditing, software configuration, and business continuity plan development. The clinic coordinates with UNLV’s Small Business Development Center to reach out to local small businesses. Congresswoman Titus secured $650,000 for the Cyber Clinic in the Fiscal Year 2023 House Appropriations funding package.
“Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Rep. Titus. “Businesses are digitizing and offices are moving to remote work, all while bad actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their modes of cyberattacks. These threats come from foreign adversaries looking to attack not just our government and infrastructure on a national scale but also to capitalize on any identifiable vulnerability in the private sector. I will continue to prioritize the federal government’s role in expanding cybersecurity infrastructure, bolstering small business resiliency, and strengthening the cyber workforce.”
“America continues to face a severe cybersecurity workforce shortage that must be tackled aggressively,” said National Cyber Director Chris Inglis. “I was pleased to join Rep. Titus, CISA Director Jen Easterly, and the inspiring students and faculty at UNLV to learn how the university is helping build the community’s cyber resilience and creating pathways to good-paying jobs by educating and training the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. These efforts are critical to developing the diverse cyber workforce we need to help chart a course toward a more secure digital future.”
“We are more digitally connected than ever before, which for all its advantages, has also made organizations—in particular, small businesses—more vulnerable to cyber threats,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States, with the bar to entry often unreasonably high. UNLV’s Free Cyber Clinic is a super innovative way to help small businesses shore up their cybersecurity while simultaneously providing hands-on experience to aspiring cybersecurity professionals. It was a real thrill to spend time with Cyber Clinic students to discuss ways CISA can amplify their great work. I want to thank both UNLV and Representative Titus not only for welcoming me today but also for their ongoing leadership on this important issue.”
While the U.S. has made significant progress over the last several years to move cybersecurity issues to the forefront, it remains a challenge with wide-ranging national and economic security implications. A critical part of securing our infrastructure, businesses, and technology for the future is ensuring that the U.S. builds a robust cyber workforce with the education and training to counter these threats.
Last month, the Biden Administration announced a multi-agency plan to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs to improve and diversify the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. The initiative draws $500 million in funding from a larger Commerce Department program known as the Good Jobs Challenge to train a cyber workforce. The number of unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S. has exploded to more than 700,000. Women account for less than a quarter of the country’s cyber workforce and only 9% of this population identifies as black. 4% identify as Hispanic. Currently, the U.S. is only able to fill about two-thirds of all cyber job openings added to the industry each year.