UWO opens new Cybersecurity Center for Excellence to combat scams

The center is free to university students and offers to program for the greater Oshkosh community.
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:15 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has opened a new cybersecurity center, providing new space for research, training, and outreach related to cybersecurity, in partnership with the Wisconsin Cyber Threat Response Alliance.

The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, located in the Culver Family Welcome Center on the Oshkosh campus, features a live-fire cyber range where users can experience real-world cyber threats in a controlled, educational environment. The center also includes classrooms, a lab, and a small data center.

Michael Patton, the director of the center, said the space looks to help not just students with their cyber security, but Wisconsin as a whole.

“We really want to be the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea that the universities here in the UW system are not just here to educate students, but to be meaningful in the lives of everyday Wisconsinites,” Patton said.

The center is free to university students and offers to program for the greater Oshkosh community. Students can use the center to expand their cybersecurity awareness and through courses, events, lab work, and internship opportunities.

“Our goal is not to make everyone a cybersecurity expert. Our goal is to take everyone’s cybersecurity knowledge and level up just one. So if you know nothing about cybersecurity, let’s talk about some of the basics things that you can do,” Patton said.

The center also looks to serve nearby schools by offering hands-on events. The public also will benefit from events and training opportunities.

“You know, far too often when we’re talking about cybersecurity, we get into real technical, technical terms. And yet it’s important that we be able to communicate these things in plain English,” Patton said.

The FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report found that more than $4.1 billion was lost in 2020 to cyber-scams.

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