CIS student Kelsey working at the NSL

The GVSU School of Computing and Information Systems recently created a new “Network and Security Lab (NSL)”. This lab will be used to support both applied research and teaching activities in computer networking, systems security, and cybersecurity. Equipment housed in the NSL includes research workstations for student use, server infrastructure to support research activities, EM shielded wireless infrastructure to enable research into wireless networking and security without affecting campus infrastructure, and switching and routing equipment.

Specific research areas supported by this lab include Autonomous Vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT), WAN Optimization and Security, Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, Critical Infrastructure (CI), DNS Systems, Network Intrusion Detection and Anomaly Analysis, Software Defined Networks (SDN), and Network Measurement. NSL research work is published in peer-reviewed conferences and journals as well as integrated in teaching courses in computer networks and security.

CIS faculty and students working at NSL

The lab also more directly supports classroom activities in our undergraduate security courses, by providing workstations that may be isolated from the campus network to practice attacks and defenses that would otherwise be disruptive to normal activities.

In addition to the new lab, the School of Computing and Information Systems also recently approved a new concentration in cybersecurity as an option for students in the CIS masters program. This concentration will include four new graduate level courses teaching cybersecurity topics:

  • CIS 615 Information Security Principles
  • CIS 616 Data Security and Privacy
  • CIS 617 Digital Forensics and Investigations
  • CIS 618 Secure Software Engineering

These courses will teach cybersecurity from both theoretical and practical hands-on approaches. Students will become familiar with current tools and techniques, but also will learn the concepts that help them evaluate new cybersecurity risks, recognize new, not yet known threat, and defend against the next generation of attackers.