ESL Federal Credit Union Pledges $3 Million to Name ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute

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Rochester Institute of Technology’s world-class home for cybersecurity has a new name.

On March 8, RIT and ESL Federal Credit Union jointly announced an exclusive naming rights partnership for the ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute at RIT.

ESL has made a $3 million commitment to help RIT address the importance of cybersecurity as a discipline and a profession, and how it affects people and organizations around the world. In recognition of this partnership, RIT’s IT Security Center has been named the ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute (ESL GCI).

The engagement was announced at Cybersecurity Hall on the RIT campus, home of ESL GCI. The institute was established in 2020, with the goal of making RIT one of the best places in the world for cybersecurity education, training and research.

Cybersecurity is a key priority for ESL, which provides banking and wealth management services to more than 388,000 members and 13,500 businesses. ESL also employs over 900 people in the Greater Rochester area and holds over $9.1 billion in assets. This is the largest naming rights commitment ESL has ever secured.

“As Greater Rochester becomes a hub for careers in these industries, ESL believes in supporting institutions and programs that educate and create the next generation of professionals and leaders,” said Faheem Masood, President and Chief direction of ALS. “We work to help our community thrive and prosper, and that includes partnerships with institutions like RIT, as the university is a national leader in information technology and cybersecurity. All of Greater Rochester benefits from RIT’s industry-leading and acclaimed cybersecurity program. »

In 2020, ESL GCI opened the doors to its brand new 52,000 square foot building, adjoining the university’s Faculty of Computer Science. Along with state-of-the-art computer labs, teaching spaces, and a conference center, the institute houses the Cyber ​​Range and Training Center. The Cyber ​​Range is a virtual and physical laboratory that allows people to simulate network cyberattacks and problem-solving scenarios.

“The ESL/RIT partnership empowers us to do the hard work that will improve business practices and confront cyber criminal activity that is disrupting the way of life for people and businesses here, across the country and around the world,” said RIT President David Munson. . “Cyber ​​and information security is a key challenge facing businesses and society as a whole. Together, RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute will be the national leader in cybersecurity education, training and research.

The ESL GCI was created to meet the demand for computer security and artificial intelligence professionals, while developing the future technologies, protocols, and human understanding needed to address the global cybersecurity crisis. This need comes at a time when cybercrime continues to grow, yet there are 2.7 million unfilled information security jobs worldwide—according to an industry study.

“We are delighted to partner with ESL and greatly appreciate their support,” said Ersin Uzun, Katherine Johnson Endowed, ESL GCI Executive Director. “This partnership will help accelerate the growth of our research, development and training activities, while increasing knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity in the region and around the world.”

The institute helps educate and train cybersecurity professionals through its Cybersecurity Bootcamp, a 15-week professional training program designed to help just about anyone jump-start an entry-level career in cybersecurity. ESL was an early supporter of the bootcamp, helping to create scholarships for its participants. The institute also connects its cybersecurity expertise to businesses and the community by offering incident response and cybersecurity awareness training for professionals.

The ESL GCI helps RIT develop new security, safety and privacy technologies for a wide range of cyber and cyber-physical systems in close collaboration with industry, academia and the public sector. Through the institute’s Eaton SAFE (Security Assessment and Forensic Examination) lab, experts also perform system and network security assessments for a wide range of partners and give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with supervised learning programs.

With the ESL GCI, RIT has also been able to expand its nationally recognized computer security degree programs. The new building has hosted computer security competitions for students and is the headquarters of the RITSEC student cybersecurity club.

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