Norwich University Earns Two Federal Cybersecurity Designations: Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics

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Norwich University has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security through 2022. Also, the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) recently certified Norwich as a National Center for Digital Forensic Academic Excellence (CDFAE).

Both federal certifications designate Norwich’s cybersecurity programs as fulfilling the needs of the federal government as well as addressing major concerns of private industry that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure, from banking to healthcare. Upon successful graduation from a CDFAE designated school, students will receive a certificate of completion.

“These federal programs recognize Norwich University as a national leader in cybersecurity education, which includes statewide leadership as well as outreach to local businesses and area schools to share our knowledge and expertise to help protect Vermont and the nation,” President Richard Schneider said.

The two certifications:

The NSA’s CAE-CDE program is designed: “to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the Nation.”

Norwich has met stringent CAE criteria including mapping its cyber-curricula to a core set of knowledge units, identifying cyber defense faculty expertise, research output and outreach beyond the University.

The following degrees have been designated CAE-CDE program paths:

  • B.S. Computer Security and Information Assurance, Concentration in Digital Forensics
  • B.S. Computer Security and Information Assurance, Concentration in Information Assurance Management
  • B.S. Cyber Security, Concentration in Computer Forensics and Vulnerability Management (Online)
  • B.S. Cyber Security, Concentration in Information Warfare and Security Management (Online)

The second designation relates to Norwich’s digital forensics curriculum.

The CDFAE program is governed by the DC3 Academic Cyber Curriculum Alliance (DACCA) board comprised of organizations from DoD, academic and professional sectors, with the DoD Cyber Crime Center (DC3) acting as host.  For an academic institution to have its digital forensics and cyber investigation programs accredited, they must meet rigid criteria giving structure to what students are learning and how it is being applied.

The program’s rigor is validated based upon common core theories, practice, and applicability to the National Initiative for Cyber Security Education (NICE) Investigate, Protect and Defend areas of expertise. CDFAE provides individuals the opportunity to validate their skills and knowledge and delivers employment-ready individuals to the workforce.

DC3 explains: “The United States is in a cybersecurity workforce deficit. More than ever, organizations need to plan for the future as significant shifts in cyber operations accelerate globally. Digital forensics skill sets provide crosscutting application to multiple fields. In its strictest connotation, digital forensics is the application of computer science and investigative procedures involving the examination of digital evidence, including proper search authority, chain of custody, validation with mathematics, use of validated tools, repeatability, reporting, and expert testimony. Beyond traditional legal purposes, the same techniques, scientific rigor, and procedural precision now support the range of military operations and course of action (examples: computer network operations and counterintelligence objectives).

CDFAE serves as a prime avenue for cultivating leaders to meet evolving objectives across the digital forensics and cyber communities, as it is vital to protect, investigate, and serve public, private, and national goals.

As part of the new CDFAE designation, Norwich University has signed an articulation agreement with DC3’s Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy (DCITA) to better serve students pursuing cybersecurity careers within the DoD and those within the DoD seeking formal university degrees.

NU students have the opportunity to apply for two prestigious CDFAE certification: the Digital Media Collector and the Digital Forensic Examiner. Norwich students meeting the requirements for these can apply for certificates that can be exchanged for DoD training course credit allowing them to start working as digital forensic practitioners immediately.

Ranked #2 by the Ponemon Institute for cyber security in the U.S., Norwich University programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for cyber security education. Norwich University is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has received designation as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). Beginning in 2002, Norwich University became a member of what is now called National Science Foundation’s Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service program. Norwich is partnered with the United States Army Reserves (USAR) to develop cyber-education curricula that align with federal standards and cybersecurity needs. Most recently Norwich’s online graduate program was named one of the top ten best cybersecurity graduate programs in the country by

Norwich is also home to GenCyber@NU, a National Security Agency and National Science Foundation-funded cybersecurity camp for high school students.