The CIAS was established at UTSA in June of 2001 as part of UTSA's creation of a cyber security program. The university was recognized in 2002 by the National Security Agency as a leader in the field of infrastructure assurance and security as it was designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
The CIAS has consistently been called upon by Congress, with support from DHS and the DoD, to strengthen the nation's cyber security preparedness. The CIAS has completed 16 national cyber security exercises and competitions. The CIAS has conducted eight exercises in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Forces and the Information Sharing and the Analysis Centers (ISAC). Additionally, the CIAS has participated in all three Cyber Storm national level exercises. The Center created and currently directs the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and is a Founding Partner of the Cyber Patriot National High School Cyber Defense Competition.
The CIAS works to improve the overall security of state and community infrastructures, whether physical or logical. Guided implementation of the CIAS Community Cyber Security Maturity Model helps communities across the country achieve their goals of protecting community assets and the citizens who rely upon their availability.
Enforcing the concepts of protecting essential cyber and physical assets while improving information gathering and sharing initiatives is the goal of the CIAS. Through community cyber security exercises and interactive training sessions or competition events (Cyber Defense Competitions), the cyber security posture of local communities, states, and even the nation are strengthened.
The CIAS has established partnerships with major influential governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the DoD, DHS, and the United States Secret Service. The CIAS has also been actively involved with sector-based Information Sharing and Analysis Centers' security preparedness exercises for organizations in critical infrastructures.