Kelly Powell Logan
Vice President Strategic Workforce Development and University Centers
Charlie Gerhards
Executive Director, Government Technology Institute
Michelle Mafnas
Program Coordinator
mmafnas@harrisburgu.eduLauren Lewis
Program Coordinator

Securing computer systems and data is an increasing challenge. Major corporations report devastating breaches to their systems, losing significant amounts of customer personal data. Such incidents have high cost both financially and in consumer confidence.

Government is not immune to these incidents. The Federal Office of Personnel and Management points out that states like South Carolina and Utah (among others) have all had personal citizen data stolen from government databases. As a result, taxpayers were responsible for paying for credit monitoring services and other costs. Costs have been in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is no surprise that this led to a troubling loss in confidence among their citizens.

Developing and maintaining a strong security defense reduces the risk of such incidents, although all agree it is virtually impossible to ensure complete success. While cyber security involves an array of sophisticated tools, at the core of any cyber security strategy are skilled professionals. Maintaining the skills and readiness of Information Security professionals is a critical component of cyber defense, particularly given the rapid pace of change in tools, techniques and challenges. Faced with shrinking budgets, it becomes even more critical that cost-effective opportunities for development of the IT security workforce are available.

With this in mind, Harrisburg University established the Security Center of Excellence (SCE). The center is a targeted effort to support government security leaders and their staffs as well as the private sector through educational programs, collaboration and awareness-raising initiatives. As a Global Academic Partner with (ISC)2, a global leader in information security standards, Harrisburg University leverages these resources in addition to its faculty, students and business partners to connect Information Security professionals with the latest, best practices and technologies. Through its partnerships with leading technology and security companies, the business community, technology associations and educational institutions, the center brings together a robust community of stakeholders and contributors in support of a shared mission.