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UNR inks cybersecurity deal with Nevada National Security Site

Nikki Moylan

NEVADA Today

Shamik Sengupta is the Executive Director of the Center and helped to establish the Second annual Cybersecurity Conference hosted in March. The conference was led by keynote speaker Mike Buglewicz.
Courtesy Photo: UNR

RENO, Nev. — As the need for cybersecurity is growing exponentially, the University of Nevada, Reno’s UNR Cybersecurity Center and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site have recently established partnership opportunities for cybersecurity research and collaboration.

Through their initial phase funding of $170,000 for one year from DOE’s National Security Site, the UNR Cybersecurity Center will be researching various vulnerability assessments and how to make the nation’s digital infrastructure more resilient.

This funding will provide a unique opportunity to cybersecurity students who will be trained on projects that are of extreme time-relevance.

The proposed research has both direct and indirect impact on hands-on research, education, training and career development of the graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno, and ultimately the community.

“We hire from these universities because we invest in their students,” said NNSS Cyber Technology Program Director Mike Buglewicz, who has managed the NNSS’ Emergency Communications Network and served as the keynote speaker at UNR’s annual cybersecurity conference. “Once students understand as much as they can about our missions, it’s not a matter of will they want to come to work at the NNSS — it’s when.

“They believe in the mission that we’re part of, which is really powerful. Working with universities has huge benefits. It is our pleasure to offer students positions and an even greater pleasure when they accept.”

The NNSS and its related facilities help ensure the security of the United States and its allies by supporting the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear deterrent; providing nuclear and radiological emergency response capabilities and training; contributing to key nonproliferation and arms control initiatives; executing national-level experiments in support of the National Laboratories; working with national security customers and other federal agencies on important national security activities; and providing long-term environmental stewardship of the NNSS’s Cold War legacy.

Researchers at the Cybersecurity Center tackle the topic in multiple areas such as network security management, data and user privacy, blockchains, machine learning, hardware security, risk management, and supply chain security. 

It also has established programs to increase awareness of cybersecurity issues among Nevadans. Focusing on outreach efforts for middle and high school teachers, a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Teachers site brings them onto campus to learn about cybersecurity and develop classroom modules for their students.

Nikki Moylan is a journalism student at UNR. This story was first published June 30 in NEVADA Today, UNR’s news and information website.


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