skip to main content

NSA Center for Cyber Defense Education and Research

Welcome to the Illinois Center for Cyber Defense Education and Research (the NSA CAE Center)! The Center is in the Information Trust Institute (ITI) and coordinates educational activities in information security and cyber defense across the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Illinois offers a variety of courses, including courses for the online master's program, and many research opportunities in information security and cyber defense to both undergraduate and graduate students. These courses are aligned to the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Training Standards. Overall, the Center responds to the national needs detailed in the federal government’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP)

The Center for Cyber Defense Education and Research has been the driving force behind the effort that resulted in the designation of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) by the National Centers of Academic Excellence Program, an outreach program initially designed and operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the spirit of Presidential Decision Directive 63, National Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection, May 1998. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information security and producing a growing number of professionals with security expertise in various disciplines. The NSA CAE Center was also instrumental in the University of Illinois's subsequent designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Research (CAE-R) by the NSA.