Two Virginia universities on Tuesday announced a new collaborative project designed to provide education, information and research on information security.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Project will be a joint effort of George Mason University School of Laws Center for Technology and Law and James Madison University. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is providing a $6.5 million grant for the project.
The projects four main focus areas will be education and outreach, serving as a repository of expertise, sponsoring research, and developing special programs.
John McCarthy, a former member of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office and most recently a director in KPMG LLPs risk and advisory services practice, will serve as executive director of the project.
"Our intent is for the CIP Project to generate real solutions that address the complex legal, policy and technology issues associated with an increasing number of cyber-attacks and cyber-failures affecting government agencies, military, private sector businesses and even individuals," McCarthy said.
Specifically, the CIP Project will hold seminars and workshops on information security and provide professional education and training, as well. Members will also help develop model legislation on security issues and testify on questions of technology, policy and law.
The new project is in line with the goals that Richard Clarke, President Bushs special adviser for cyberspace security, has outlined over the past several months. Clarke has said that security education and cooperation between private industry, academia and the government are key to improving the countrys overall security posture.
Both JMU, in Harrisonburg, Va., and GMU, in Fairfax, Va., have been recognized by the National Security Agency as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.