Norwich University received a $714,285 grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) aimed at expanding the university’s cybersecurity education programs.
The grant will help pay for scholarships for U.S. Army Reserve soldiers studying cybersecurity through Norwich’s online program in addition to expanding the hardware and software infrastructure used on campus to teach cybersecurity.
In a news release announcing the grant, Norwich University officials also said the grant money will help the “Cyber Patriot Team at the Northfield Middle and High School” by opening the program to new students and covering travel costs.
The NSA has faced increased scrutiny in the years since former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread domestic surveillance programs, some of which were later ruled illegal, carried out by the agency.
Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch both praised the grant program as an important part of the United States’ national security efforts.
“As the world is increasingly driven by technology, skilled cybersecurity professionals are essential to our nation's defense,” Welch said. “Quality education is a key component in developing our National Cyber Mission Force. I strongly support this critical component of the mission of Norwich University and am pleased that it has received this funding for scholarships and improving the educational experience for cyber professional students.”
Leahy highlighted that the events of 2016, in which Russia is widely believed to have potentially influenced the presidential election through the propagation of fake news and by hacking email accounts of top Democratic officials
“Norwich University continues to keep Vermont at the cutting edge of cyber security training and preparation. When the Appropriations Committee set up this program we knew how important cybersecurity is, and the threats we face from abroad, but we could not have predicted that 2016 itself would be the year of some of the largest hacks in history, many of them originating from overseas,” Leahy said in a statement. “The work Norwich is doing is more important than ever, and I am proud that Vermonters are sought out by the U.S. Army Reserves to make sure their men and women are prepared to respond to threats to our networks.”