Our lives depend on critical infrastructure. Yet most people rarely keep it in mind, says the president of Capitol Technology University, Dr. Bradford L. Sims.
“We often take it for granted that we can turn on the faucet and there’s clean water, or that we can flip on the light switch and there’s electricity,” Sims says. “We often think of critical infrastructure as operating behind the scenes. But if a power plant gets attacked and goes down, then electricity stops. If a water treatment plant gets attacked, then you don’t have clean drinking water.”
Capitol, long known for its cybersecurity degree programs, is expanding into the critical infrastructure field in a big way, with programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. It’s a field of rapidly escalating interest, as concern mounts over facilities that were designed and built to protect against physical – but not virtual – attacks.
The Laurel, Maryland-based university will be getting the word out about its new programs at this week’s Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) gala – an invitation-only event that will bring together some of the nation’s top leaders and policymakers in the fields of cybersecurity and national security. Capitol is one of the event sponsors.
Parham Eftekhari, the organization’s executive director, says Capitol’s new programs could help move the needle when it comes to securing vital assets and facilities.
“Capitol Technology University’s rapidly expanding curriculum centered around critical infrastructure technology and cybersecurity makes them an indispensable asset in our nation’s fight to defend our most critical assets from nation-state and cyber criminals,” he said.
“We are extremely grateful for their support and look forward to expanding our relationship with them as leaders in our community.”
The Department of Homeland Security has designated November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. Among other resources, the DHS is offering a downloadable toolkit to help individuals and organizations boost awareness.
According to President Sims, Capitol is particularly well-suited to offering programs in the field because it’s a small school with a focus on engineering, technology, computer science, and business. That enables it to concentrate resources and faculty in specialized disciplines.
Capitol’s critical infrastructure programs are distinguished by their scope, Sims said. They not only teach the technical skills and expertise needed to contribute to this growing field, but also communicate the larger purpose.
Some schools “view it mainly in terms of cyber protection, but that’s not the whole picture. We want our students to understand critical infrastructure and its significance to our lives – whether it’s the power grid, water treatment facilities, or any of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security,” he said. “It’s important to understand what critical infrastructure is – what it looks like, how it operates, and what makes it critical.”
“The facilities that keep us going in our daily lives – that’s critical infrastructure.”
Interested in building a career in the high-demand field of critical infrastructure, boosting your career credentials, or contributing research to the field? Click here to learn more about degree programs at Capitol, or contact our admissions department at firstname.lastname@example.org.