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Since 2001, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has made a significant impact on the university’s overall cybersecurity program, in addition to providing the initial research funding to jumpstart cybersecurity research at UTSA. (For a full review on the CIAS’ impact on cybersecurity, review our 20th Anniversary Report.)

Our Mission

To deliver quality research, training, cyber competitions, exercises and K-12 cybersecurity programs to advance community and organizational cybersecurity capabilities and collaboration.

Our Vision

To be the leader in the advancement of state and community cybersecurity capabilities and collaboration.

How have we accomplished our mission?

The focus on states and communities began in 2002 when the CIAS conducted the first community cybersecurity exercise, called Dark Screen, in San Antonio, Texas. After this successful event, there followed several dozen other cybersecurity exercises at the sector, state and community levels. Since then, the CIAS has expanded these efforts to create a culture of cybersecurity through cybersecurity competitions, K-12 cybersecurity education and information sharing initiatives. Below is a brief recap of these offerings. 

Training & Exercises

Since Dark Screen, the CIAS has conducted national level exercises, developed online and instructor-led courses, which have certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and collaborated with information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs) and information sharing organizations. The CIAS continues to provide cybersecurity training and exercises nationwide to better prepare the workforce, information technology professionals, organizations and communities for cyber incidents.


In subsequent years, we created the nationally recognized collegiate cybersecurity defensive competition, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), and followed that competition by being one of the co-founders of CyberPatriot, the high school and middle school version of the NCCDC, which was developed with the Air Force Association as its lead. We continue to be the technology component behind the CyberPatriot program, which is now the single largest cybersecurity competition in the world introducing tens of thousands of students to cybersecurity.

K-12 Education

We have a strong K-12 cybersecurity program, which began with computer games developed for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program. This was followed by Cyber Threat Defender (CTD): The Collectible Card Game, which is now played worldwide. The success of CTD led to additional electronic games as well as two additional elementary focused card games. Our Culture of Cybersecurity campaign launched in 2019 with the aid of our cybersecurity mascots – the CyBear family. The goal is to encourage cybersecurity awareness and prevention by individuals within every community.

Please take a moment to learn more about each of these programs on our website. You’ll be surprised to learn how each of our programs and iniatives are making an impact on community cybersecurity capabilities today – from our youngest citizens (as young as five years old!) to cybersecurity professionals and community leaders.

Did you know?

The cybersecurity program at UTSA continues to receive national attention! The CIAS, along with the Institute for Cyber Security and the Center for Cybersecurity and Analytics, have played a significant role in the current reputation of UTSA.

Ponemon Institute study 2014

In the nation for cybersecurity education
# 10

at the undergraduate level ranking 2016

In the nation for graduate cybersecurity
# 10

National Security Agency

National Centers of Academic Excellence

Designations by the NSA in areas of Cyber Defense Research Cyber Operations

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Stay In Touch


Main Phone: 210-458-2119
Fax: 210-458-2170

Email Address

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday:
8am – 5pm


One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249


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