Alabama celebrates cyber security lab’s opening Friday

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Daniel Francis

The University of Alabama celebrated the grand opening of its new cyber security lab Friday.

This lab offers students a place for training in cyber security, a field that is growing in high demand.

Computers and servers in the lab are encrypted and state of the art, said UA Department of Engineering Computer Science Interim Department Chair Susan Vrbsky, who helped build the lab.

Her favorite additions are the large display screens instructors can use to display different pieces of code, she said.

“We realized we wanted our students to have a safe and hands-on experience where they can put into practice what they are learning in their cyber security coursework,” she said. “This lab will enable students to play a part in protecting and defending digital information from attacks.”

There were challenges engineers faced to make it secure for students.

Cyber Security Program Director Travis Atkinson said the hardest part was creating a space that is isolated from the UA computer network.

“That was a challenge for us,” he said. “But we were able to accomplish it with conductivity to the outside world as well.”

The theme for the lab is building a more secure tomorrow.

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