FIU Cyber Initiatives

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Applied Research Center

Computer & Information Sciences

Arts and Sciences


Cyberspace, the ubiquitous collection of interconnected IP networks and hosts that has proliferated over the last two decades, has become the nervous system of the country. Healthy functioning of Cyberspace is essential for the proper operation of numerous critical infrastructures, such as telecommunication, energy and transportation. It is also necessary to support the ever-expanding business infrastructure, including commerce and banking. The increasing reliance on Cyberspace has been paralleled by a corresponding increase in the variety, frequency and impact of attacks from a range of assailants. Both commercial companies and government agencies face continuous and increasingly more sophisticated cyber-attacks ranging from data exfiltration and spear phishing to sophisticated worms and logic bombs. The targets include not only computer information systems, but also the network communication infrastructure and power grids. Moreover, commercial companies and government agencies are themselves engaging in information gathering whose implications for privacy are disturbing.

Therefore, there is an increasing need of a concerted and cooperative effort on the part of the government and the private sector to address these attacks and threats. Research and education are the main ways to help detect, react, and reduce the impact of cyber threats and attacks. There is a dearth of educational cyber security programs at universities, despite a very strong demand for qualified graduates. Moreover, Miami’s status as a gateway for international commerce, tourism, and immigration, especially with Latin America, makes it a particularly appropriate host location for a research and education consortium focusing on cyber infrastructure.

FIU Cyber Iniatives

Florida International University (FIU), a public institution of higher education with more than 50,000 students, is the largest Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the continental United States and the largest producer of Hispanic scientific and engineering degrees in the U.S. The two primary drivers in Cyber security are the College of Engineering and Computing and the Applied Research Center. Relying on the expertise and field experience of the University’s outstanding engineering and computing faculty and the applied engineering capabilities of ARC, the University is committed to making cyber security one of our primary research areas in the future. Rather than compartmentalizing these efforts, FIU has promoted development of an interdisciplinary approach with experts from a variety of disciplines. It is currently focusing on smart grid security and network security. Some of the major research areas pursued by FIU faculty are in:

  • Cyber Physical System Security
  • Malware and Forensics
  • Penetration Tools and Resources
  • Cybersecurity in social-technical systems.
  • Power/energy consumption, and security levels algorithms for real-time systems
  • Smart Grid Intelligent agents
  • Body Sensor Security
  • Unknown Cyber Attack Detection and Identification
  • Wireless jamming detection, localization, and avoidance.
  • Critical infrastructure security, smart grid software/hardware vulnerability & security.

FIU’s School of Computing & Information Sciences (SCIS) Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Program

The College of Engineering and Computing Science’s Department of Electrical Engineering and the School of Computing Sciences have developed a number of degree and certification programs in Cyber. The following academic programs are currently being offered to students.

Undergraduate Areas of Concentration: Network Forensics and Security

Seven undergraduate courses in cyber security and forensics are offered to undergraduates in Telecommunication Networks and Network Security, Telecommunication Network Analysis and Design, Principles of Network Management and Control Standards, Ethical Hacking, Introduction to Digital Forensics Engineering, and Introduction to Malware and Reverse Engineering.

Graduate – MS in Computer Engineering Concentration in Network/Security

This graduate program is directed at professionals with weekend courses allowing degree completion in one year. The program includes courses in Computer Communication Networks, Engineering Design of Microprocessor Based Operating System, Network Security, Wireless Communication with Multimedia, Ubiquitous and Embedded Sensor Network-Centric Telecommunications, Advanced Ethical Hacking, Advanced Digital Forensics Engineering, and Advanced Malware Reverse Engineering.

Technical Certifications

Students are encouraged and facilitated discounted prices to become certified with the following certificates prior to graduation: Network+, Security+, Linux+, ECH, and others.

Join SCIS and ECE Graduate – Master in Cybersecurity

In the process of approval, target date fall 2014.

The College’s Cybersecurity Research focuses on:

  • Pursuing DHS certification for the cybersecurity program which will allow us to receive DHS funds.
  • Partnership with Secret Service, Verizon and vendors like XRY who work in the cybersecurity space – Verizon donated cell phones and air time, Secret Service provided guidance- phone could be analyzed for malware after the class
  • Certification partnerships with vendors (ethical hacking, security, etc - over 200 certifications completed by FIU students thus far)
  • REU proposal in cybersecurity pending with NSF
  • Research on grid security in progress (seed grant from FPL)
  • Research on tamperproof packaging and hardware security in progress (student funded through McKnight foundation)
  • Collaboration with secret service on malware, penetration testing, honeypots etc.

Visit Computer & Information Sciences

The College of Engineering and Computing Sciences efforts are complemented by the applied expertise of the Applied Research Center (ARC) at FIU in cyber and energy related issues. ARC’s research has focused on cyberspace architectures and frameworks, multi-agent systems for network monitoring and control, visualization concepts and technologies, cyber resilience, reliability, efficiency, information security management and data anomalies.

Cyber Security research at ARC falls into three main areas: Cyberspace Technology Testing, Cyberspace Infrastructure and Cyberspace Workforce Development. Cyberspace security areas include firewall management, intrusion detection /prevention systems, security monitoring, log monitoring/retention, vulnerability management, and unified threat management.

Cyberspace Technology Testing

FIU’s Applied Research Center (ARC) is supporting the Department of Defense (DOD) - Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) in its mission to plan, assess and test cyberspace technology development, acquisition, fielding, and sustainment of defense systems for the Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB).

The Center collaborates with industry experts to support applied research in cyberspace and information assurance (IA) test technology development and gap analysis. These cyberspace technologies have applications within the Test & Evaluation/Science & Technology (T&E/S&T) portfolio. ARC specializes in the following areas of cyber security.

  • Testing & Evaluation of Cyberspace technologies at CT3C Test bed lab
  • Gap Analysis of Cyberspace test technologies
  • Threat Analysis and Penetration Testing
  • Real Time Monitoring and Forensics
  • Malicious Software Analysis
  • Design, Analysis and Testing of Switched and Open Flow Network.

Cyberspace Work Force Development

In an effort to develop expertise in Cyber security and developing a Cyber security workforce, ARC has engaged FIU science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) minority students in the areas of cyber space technology testing research work. This Cyber training program provides hands on research and internship opportunities to FIU students. The model is similar to the highly successful DOE-FIU Science & Technology Workforce Development Program, established in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). The objective of this workforce development program is to create a “pipeline” of minority scientists and engineers specifically trained and mentored to enter the DOE’s workforce in technical areas of need. ARC has developed a pilot program focused on the needs of the DoD’s TRMC in the area of cyber security. As a pilot workforce development program, approximately 6 students are supported during the first year of this program.

The DOD-FIU Cyber Security Workforce Development Program will provide students with hands-on training and research experience in cyber security projects during the school year as well as paid summer internships at DOD sites and/or DOD contractor locations.

The cyber security workforce development program allows for the training of FIU STEM students and faculty with diverse technical backgrounds to develop and integrate new cyberspace systems for DOD’s TRMC test applications.

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Coming soon...

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