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Editorial: UConn partnership with Comcast will increase research opportunities

By Editorial Board
On April 21, 2014

Comcast will be investing millions of dollars into UConn in order to create a cybersecurity research program called the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation. It will be located in the Information Technologies Engineering building on UConn's main campus and will be staffed by six professors and seven doctoral candidates. The venture will research how software, hardware and computer networking affect cybersecurity. Additionally, it will work with an existing university center that is also researching hardware security.
This is not the first time a corporation has invested in UConn. Back In 2012, General Electric initiated a $7.5 million engineering institute at the university. In April 2013, UConn received $9 million from Pratt & Whitney for an additive manufacturing initiative. In November, United Technologies Corp., Pratt's parent company, funded a $10 million institute for systems engineering. Neither UConn nor Comcast officials would disclose the dollar figure of the investment, simply mentioning that it was worth millions of dollars over the span of at least three years. This partnership with Comcast is not only beneficial to the university, but also helps further research in a field that has become increasingly more important.
On a national scale, hacking of information has been an issue, whether it was the theft of Target customer information or the more recent revelations about the Heartbleed bug which has been used to gain user information across a variety of websites and databases, including the Canada Revenue Agency. Even on a more local level, cybersecurity remains a crucial issue. According to The Hartford Courant, state officials received more than 400 reports of security breaches last year, which compromised the information of more than half a million residents. There is also the ever-constant threat of identity theft.
This partnership will allow for concentrated research in cybersecurity and better understanding the threats that jeopardize our online privacy. As a result, this endeavor will hopefully allow for new innovations in creating not only faster and stronger networks, but also more secure networks to combat the ever evolving threats to cybersecurity.

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