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Midwest Regional Cyber Defense Competition Community

MVCC CSSIA grads land several jobs at DELL SecureWorks

CSSIA Featured in iStream (League for Innovation) Project Highlight

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NCL and CCDC Competitions are Powered by the CSSIA's own Architected Virtualization Data Center Stadium

National Cyber League
High School Network Competition
Science Nation Video - Cybersecurity Program Trains 21st Century Workforce

This week's 1/28/13 Science Nation video, Community College Cybersecurity features the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) at Moraine Valley Community College . Click the link to the left to view the video.

Science Nation is a video series commissioned by the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. The series is distributed throughout the world, including to various media outlets on the internet, the , local community TV stations in the U.S. via , Voice of America for international broadcast distribution, the NSF STEM video portal Science360 , and K-12 content producers in the U.S. and abroad . Some episodes also appear in the nationally-distributed PBS documentary series - This American Land .

National Resource Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance

Who is CSSIA? About CSSIA (PDF)

CSSIA, the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) National Resource Center. Since 2003, CSSIA has provided students with real-world learning experiences in information assurance and network security through several program improvement supportive initiatives. To receive CSSIA's the bi-weekly eNews, click here or scan the QR Code above and sign-up!

Resource Goals :

2012- 2013 TRAIN the TRAINER series...

Since January, CSSIA has successfully trained more than 250 instructors & the year is not over yet! Recently, CSSIA collaborated with EMC Academic Alliance, VMware IT Academy and Network Development Group to run a year-round, synchronously-led training classes on Information Storage Management, VMware vSphere and CompTIA Security +. Participants will have access to the NETLAB+ labs during and after sessions.  All of CSSIA affiliates will receive a tremendous savings. 2012-13 Train the trainer flyer download.pdf

CSSIA is a National Leader in Training Cyber Security Educators

Since 2004, the NSF ATE center CSSIA has instructed more than 2000 teachers and college faculty in cyber security related areas. Surveys show that 73% or over 1,460 are already using or plan to use curricula and instructional materials provided at the professional development programs . Hands-on complex laboratory exercises was the most valuable aspect of the learning experience. Check out what NSF ATE is all about!

Interested in CSSIA coordinating training for your faculty?  Contact us and we will help you organize a meaning full experience for your faculty. In some cases, CSSIA can even subsidize the faculty development costs. Other outcomes include the opportunity to earn graduate credit from the University of Illinois as part of the train-the-trainer faculty development process.  In many cases these credits have led to the completion of accredited MS in CS degrees.  The most requested faculty courses include Ethical Hacking, CISSP, VMware ICM, EMC ISM, Cybersecurity, CCNA Security, Forensics and more.

CSSIA Supports Institutions Seeking the CAE2Y CNSS NSA Program

The CSSIA at Moraine Valley Comunity College applied for and was designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as one of the first five Centers of Academic Excellence in 2 Year Cyber Security & Information Assurance education ( CAE2Y ) institutions in the country. The staff at CSSIA serve as mentor resources for other institutions pursuing the CAE2Y. In most cases grant resources are available for community college to assist in the cost of this designation effort.

CSSIA Learning Content and the Virtualization Datacenter (CVDC)

The staff at CSSIA has become leaders in the area of classroom virtualization. Since 2010, the CCDC competitions have thrived with the successful deployment of the CSSIA Virtualization Data Center . The CVDC enables us to expand the number of participants in the competition while at the same time reducing costs and increasing the ability to replicate these complex competition learning environments. The establishment of a standardized data center and content delivery system has enabled cyber security educators to develop multiple curriculums that can easily be deployed and shared by institutions interested in teaching cyber security, IA related and many more programs. The CSSIA virtual environment approach currently supports a variety of learning content and plans to develop additional courses. Current Status:


  • CNSS 4011 / Security Awareness
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Cisco Network Academy CCNA Security
  • VMware IT Academy vSphere v5.x Install Configure Manage (ICM)
  • EMC Academic Alliance Information Storage Management (ISM)

Coming in 2013

  • Ethical Hacking (Spring)
  • Advanced Forensics (Summer)
  • CompTIA Linux+ (Spring)
  • Mobile Device Forensics (Fall)
  • Geospatial Technology (Fall)
  • EMC Academic Alliance iCloud (Spring)
  • VMware IT Academy VMware View (Spring)

As a faculty member, if you would like something out, send us a request!

Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions Give Students Experience with Real World Security Challenges
CSSIA operates the Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions (CCDC) and National Cyber League (NCL) providing students with hands-on cyber security experiences. Since organizing the first Midwest competition in 2006, CSSIA has grown to support over 300 participating students each year in both multi-state and regional competitions. In 2008, CSSIA formed the Competition Advisory Board (CIAB).

The CIAB has increased industry participation and added more real-world workplace experiences to the competitions. From 2006 to 2012 over 1500 students have participated in these competitions. CSSIA is a founding member of the National Cyber League and sits on the Governing Board of the National CCDC.

CSSIA Directly Impacts Educators, Academic Institutions and Students

CSSIA’s impact on student success has been extraordinary. Carlos Marquez, an information technology graduate from Moraine Valley Community College, is an example of a successful student. He explains, “ As a high school graduate in 2005, I was accepted to many universities,but Moraine Valley’s Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance had the right staff and equipment. CSSIA gave me the opportunity to enhance my skills, have an internship, and participate in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions. If it was not for CSSIA, I would not be where I am today: employed by Dell Secureworks.

Collaboration – CSSIA Affiliate and Partnership programs

CSSIA is committed to serving the needs of the higher education academic community in the areas of curriculum, faculty development, cyber skills competitions and underrepresented outreach. The CSSIA affiliate and partnership programs are available to support these efforts. The CSSIA Affiliate program concept is simple. An affiliate may use CSSIAs logo in printed and electronic form. Affiliates benefit by receiving faculty training, program development opportunities and various toolkits with the goal of continuous improvement of their cyber security, virtualization and storage programs. As resources are available, affiliates may also request services such as CSSIA Virtualization Datacenter (CVDC) lab access for faculty lab evaluation, CAE2Y program mapping and guidance to participate in cyber skills exercises. These opportunities and services are offered to affiliates at free or reduced costs as resources are available.

The CSSIA Partnership program extends the affiliate program with the objective of greater dissemination of program improvement objectives. Partners may participate with CSSIA in the sharing and dissemination of resources to the academic community and collaboration with CSSIA to host faculty development opportunities using CSSIA’s course registration systems and their own or CSSIA’s Virtualization Datacenter (CVDC). Partners are encouraged to share their resources as available to assist other academic institutions in program improvement and work with CSSIA to develop and disseminate best practices for cybersecurity and related program development. CSSIA also supports the VMware IT Academy ™ and EMC Academic Alliance ™ programs in facultytraining and support capacities.

CSSIA Collaboration

We encourage your collaboration. Our web resources are still under development so please contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.

Contact the CSSIA Main Office M-F 8-3pm CST (708) 974-5725 or email Erich Spengler - Executive Director at for information.

9000 West College Parkway, Palos Hills, Illinois 60465

CSSIA Partnerships

CSSIA Partners with Infragard and UIS to host the 2013 Cyber Defense and Disaster Recovery Conference - March 8, 2013

National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technology Consortium (NISGTC)
CSSIA Partners with the NDG for Cybersecurity Lab Content Distribution and Virtualization Deployment

Other CSSIA Partnerships

CompTIA logo