Our culture is arguably becoming more and more dependent on ubiquitous information technology. Digital devices play a critical role for healthcare, banking, commerce, entertainment, manufacturing and more. Meanwhile, our digital tools are constantly vulnerable to ongoing attacks meant to steal private and personal information, intellectual property, trade secrets, financial records or even voter databases.
The Synchrony Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity at Tech Park and Synchrony have formed a partnership committed to safeguarding the infrastructures and organizations at the heart of our digital economy. They are taking a two-pronged approach to tackle this issue, by developing information security talent and conducting leading research that best supports the companies and consumers struggling to stay ahead of these threats.
Laurent Michel, professor in UConn’s Computer Science and Engineering Department and Center Director for the Synchrony Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, believes this approach is imperative to developing sound strategies for reducing vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
As a consumer financial services company, Synchrony maintains a vested interest in protecting their customers from cybersecurity breaches. They have provided generous support to the center since its inception, including an endowment for the Synchrony Chair in Cybersecurity held by Laurent Michel, with a focus on leadership in the advancement of education and research in cybersecurity. Synchrony has also provided funding for a Cybersecurity Fellows Program and a scholarship program for UConn graduate students to conduct independent cybersecurity research.
The Synchrony Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity is one of four member centers of the Connecticut Advanced Computing Center (CACC), an umbrella group with a broader overarching purpose. A key goal for CACC and its member centers is to break new technology grounds and advance innovative solutions to prevent, detect and cope with the spectrum of attacks that threaten information technology systems.
Within CACC, the Synchrony Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity addresses threats to financial organizations as well as the assessment and adoption of cyber-technologies susceptible to impact FinTech. The three sister centers specialize in critical areas such as networking products deployed in businesses and homes, hardware security and ensuring safe and secure elections in the State.
Staying ahead of this maelstrom of digital infiltrators is a constantly evolving challenge. The Synchrony Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity and all the CACC centers offer to agencies, industries and the public at large, the necessary education, awareness and transparent technology they need to continue to operate effectively in such adversarial environments.
Laurent Michel is an internationally recognized expert in the area of cybersecurity. He was appointed Synchrony Chair for Cybersecurity in December 2019 and is also co-Director of CACC.