Join us to learn about cyber and its related technologies including software, networks, AI, data analytics and cloud computing.  Everyone is welcome!

Feel free to send any questions to cerc@Howard.edu.

Cybersecurity Center

The Cybersecurity Education and Research Center (CERC) was created as an academic-public-private partnership to develop cybersecurity professionals, conduct research and support outreach to underserved communities.

We sponsor courses, programs and research for students interested in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Center Goals

  • Create a pipeline of diverse cybersecurity talent.
  • Deliver innovative inter-disciplinary cybersecurity research programs.
  • Create partnerships and programs to support cybersecurity workforce development in underserved communities.

Howard awarded CAE-CD Designation

The Howard University Cybersecurity program was officially awarded a 5 year designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This designation recognizes the overall program for meeting or exceeding the national standards for cybersecurity instruction, programs and student outcomes.

Cybersecurity Center Activities

Current — Fall 2023 

  • SANS Foundations training 
  • Coding Collaborative Club   
  • Cybersecurity Club  
  • National Cyber League Competition
  • Security Certification Course
  • Intelligence Community Scholars Program  
  • Cybersecurity Lab Upgrade
  • Cybersecurity Speaker Series  
  • Intelligence Community Symposium

Contact CERC@howard.edu for enrollment info.

Recent — Last 12 months

  • Howard CISCAP Summer Camp
  • Security Certification Bundles
  • SANS CyberStart competition 
  • Coding Collaborative Club 
  • Cybersecurity Club Kickoff  
  • Chevron and Lockheed Scholarships 
  • National Security Institute panel  
  • National Cyber League Competitions
  • Cybersecurity Speaker Series 
  • Threat Intelligence workshop  
  • CrowdStrike Mentorship Program  
  • National Student Leadership Conference Workshops

Meet the Team

The CERC is part of the Howard University School of Business under Dean Wilbon with the following staff:

Dr. Rajni Goel
Dr. Rajni GoelAssociate Dean and Director
Robert Burke
Robert BurkeAssociate Director and Adjunct Faculty
Samaa Elnagar, Ph.D
Samaa Elnagar, Ph.DAssistant Professor

Social Media

Everyone Must Support Good Cyber Hygiene!

Good cybersecurity hygiene is everyone’s responsibility. Please refer to Howard University Enterprise Technical Services (ETS) for the current security guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cybersecurity?2023-08-17T19:15:59+00:00

Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems and networks from attack by malicious actors that may result in unauthorized information disclosure, theft of, or damage to hardware, software, or data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. (Wikipedia)

What kind of Career Opportunities are available in Cybersecurity?2023-08-31T01:49:42+00:00

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing career fields with over 213,000 positions open in the US and median salaries starting over $100k/year (Lightcast™ US Job Postings: 2022: Jan. 1, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2022). Entry level opportunities include positions as Security Specialists, Cybersecurity Analysts, Incident Responder, Testers,  Auditors and Consultants (see Cyberseek Career Pathway). 

What free training resources do the Cyber Center recommend for independent learning?2023-08-31T01:49:15+00:00

An excellent resource regarding careers and free training option for students is the SANS New2Cyber webpage.

What will I learn studying cybersecurity?2023-08-17T19:15:58+00:00

The cybersecurity concentration and the center programs will expose students to a broad set of cybersecurity principles, challenges and strategic technologies including secure IT architectures, software, networks, data analytics, AI and cloud services. 

What programs does the Cybersecurity Education and Research Center (CERC) offer?2023-08-31T01:48:25+00:00

The Cybersecurity Center offers the following programs: 

  • Cybersecurity Concentration and Certificate
  • Workshops, Projects and Competitions 
  • Cyber Lab services
  • Scholarships, Internships and free resources 
  • Research Projects

See the Cybersecurity Program Page for more information.

What is the Cybersecurity Concentration?2023-08-31T01:47:52+00:00

The Cybersecurity Concentration is part of the Computer Information Systems major in the Howard School of Business. Read more about the Computer Information Systems Cybersecurity Concentration.

How do I join the Cybersecurity Center?2023-08-31T01:47:04+00:00
Are there scholarship opportunities available?2023-08-31T01:43:01+00:00

The Cybersecurity Center will announce scholarship opportunities. Join the cybersecurity center distribution list and follow the center’s social media channels to receive announcements (Twitter and Linkedln).

What does the Cyber Lab offer?2023-08-17T19:23:07+00:00

The Cyber Lab is both a physical location and a virtual infrastructure that supports cybersecurity student learning.

The physical space (Rm426 School of Business) is a collaboration workspace used for hands-on classroom instruction, workshops and club meetings. The lab is equipped with furniture, AV, Wifi and special devices for student projects.

The virtual infrastructure includes cloud services, a research server, cyber range labs and a curated portfolio of online resources for students of all skill levels (e.g., picoCTF, CyberStart, TryHackMe, etc.).

How do I get started learning cybersecurity before enrolling in cyber classes?2023-08-17T19:15:49+00:00

First step, join the Cybersecurity center and the Cyber Club to connect with the HU community of cyber students and to get access to free resources.

For independent learning, the Cybersecurity center recommends that students pursue free or low cost learning opportunities to build up their pre-requisite skills in data, networks, web, operating systems and cyber. As an example, below are the introductory instructional paths for beginners using the TryHackMe.com online learning portal: 

    • Pre-security Learning Path (40 hrs easy) 
    • Introduction to Cybersecurity (24hrs easy)
    • Absolute Beginner (60 hrs easy)
What cybersecurity skill domains should students focus on developing?2023-08-17T19:15:49+00:00

The cybersecurity concentration and center activities help students develop their critical thinking, analysis and hands-on skills in the following domain areas: 

  1. Cyber Principles, Threats, Vulnerabilities and Attacks
  2. Cryptography 
  3. Foundational IT  (Data, Operating Systems/Linux, Network, Software, Hardware) 
  4. Network/Web Traffic Analysis
  5. Virtualization and Cloud
  6. Programming and Scripting 
  7. Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies 
  8. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
  9. Security Architectures and Operations  
  10. Penetration Test (Scan, Enumerate, Password Crack, Exploit, etc) 
  11. Vulnerability Analysis & Incident Response
  12. Forensics
Are there student research opportunities?2023-08-31T01:41:46+00:00

Yes, the Cybersecurity Center will provide support for students to pursue research topics of interest.  See the Cybersecurity Center research page for more info.

What entry level certifications does the CERC recommend?2023-08-17T19:15:47+00:00

The Center recommends that students focus on developing hands-on skills by joining the Cybersecurity Center and enrolling in the cyber courses before pursuing certifications. After engaging with the Cyber Center and seeing what free resources are available, students may want to consider the following entry level cybersecurity certifications based on their interests and resources: 

    • ISC2 – ‘Certified in Cybersecurity’ (free)
    • CompTIA Security+ (costs)
    • Google Data Analytics (Coursea – costs)
    • Other
What are the hardware and software requirements to participate?2023-08-31T01:40:49+00:00

Computer with Intel i3 or equivalent power plus 8 GB RAM and 500 GB storage (or more) 

* Note: Apple devices with M1 (silicon) chips do not support the free versions of virtualization software. Contact CERC@howard.com for information on getting a free licensed copy of VMWare.  

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