News & Updates

To request an interview with the CIAS or learn more about the following articles, contact the CIAS Director of Communications Julina Macy at 210-458-2292.

The CIAS launches new website to support UTSA’s cybersecurity capabilities
29Jun

The CIAS launches new website to support UTSA’s cybersecurity capabilities

The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is proud to announce the release of its renewed website. The new website features a responsive design that aligns with the university’s main website. It also supports the CIAS mission to deliver quality research, training cyber competitions, K-12 cybersecurity programs to advance community and organizational cybersecurity capabilities and collaboration.

Incident Response – Lessons to be Better Prepared
28Jun

Incident Response – Lessons to be Better Prepared

BLOG — Incident response addresses the question: “How well did you prepare?” Your response to that question is directly related to your preparation. This supports the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—or response. This article takes a look at five basic lessons to consider when mitigating incidents to help you prepare and prevent a potential cyber incident.

University of Central Florida wins 2022 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition
23Apr

University of Central Florida wins 2022 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

SAN ANTONIO (April 25, 2022) – The University of Central Florida competed against nine other student-led teams to become champion of the 2022 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), presented by the CIAS in partnership with the competition’s presenting sponsor Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business. This year, more than 1,500 competitors from 171 schools across the country participated in the 17th annual NCCDC, held in San Antonio from April 21-23.

Six (Easy) Cyber Security Tips for Travelers
10Mar

Six (Easy) Cyber Security Tips for Travelers

BLOG – Before your family begins to plan out your travel games and scenic views in favor of their favorite electronic pastime, make sure you, your friends and family are prepped and ready to travel. And no, this doesn’t simply mean making sure the car’s oil has been changed or everyone’s passports are current.

Take a few minutes to read our top six cyber security tips for travelers. It’s easier than you think to be a cyber secure traveler today.

Learn How to Create an Effective Password

BLOG – To create effective passwords, let’s begin by making sure we’re all on the same page about what is a password.

Passwords are a form of identification that people use to prove their identity when logging in to a system. Create an effective password that is memorable, but complex. Generally, longer passwords are stronger passwords. If you forget a password or it is easily accessible by others, then that password is no longer useful or effective.

Angelo State and UTSA Partner for Cybersecurity Pilot Program in San Angelo
26Aug

Angelo State and UTSA Partner for Cybersecurity Pilot Program in San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, Texas (August 26, 2021) – The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, as part of the National Security Agency (NSA), has awarded a grant in the amount of $1.67 million to the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to help communities become more cyber secure nationwide.

School district pays hefty ransom to resolve cyberattack

(August 4, 2021) — Judson Independent School District paid a more than $500,000 ransom to hackers who threatened to publish “sensitive, identifiable information” on the dark web and crippled the district’s information technology systems for a month, the district announced Wednesday. . . . Ransomware attacks are “one of, if not the most common, attacks impacting organizations” today, said Greg White, UTSA computer science professor and CIAS director.

University of Central Florida wins 2021 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship
02Aug

University of Central Florida wins 2021 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 9, 2021) — University of Central Florida prevailed over nine other schools to win the 2021 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and the coveted Alamo Cup. The national championship, sponsored by Raytheon Technologies Corporation, was held in an entirely virtual setting.

CIAS K-12 Cybersecurity Program awarded grant to expand cybersecurity awareness nationwide
20May

CIAS K-12 Cybersecurity Program awarded grant to expand cybersecurity awareness nationwide

(May 20, 2021) — In conjunction with RSAC 2021, the Gula Tech Foundation announced the winners of their $1,000,000 March 2021 Data Care themed competitive grant program on March 20, 2021. This competitive grant focused on non-profits committed to to increasing public cybersecurity awareness. The CIAS was awarded the first place prize of $250,000 for their K-12 Cybersecurity Program.

The Gula Tech Foundation Announces Winners of $1,000,000 Data Care Grant
20May

The Gula Tech Foundation Announces Winners of $1,000,000 Data Care Grant

On May 20, 2021, in conjunction with RSAC 2021, the Gula Tech Foundation announced the winners of their $1,000,000 March 2021 Data Care themed competitive grant program. This competitive grant focused on non-profits committed to to increasing public cybersecurity awareness. The CIAS was awarded the first place prize of $250,000 for their K-12 Cybersecurity Program.

UTSA receives $1.2 million CISA grant to develop Pilot Program for SLTT Governments

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has awarded the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) a $1.2 million grant to conduct a pilot program to help state, local, tribal and territorial governments identify high value assets (HVA) in order to prioritize resources and planning. The pilot will aid these governments in establishing an HVA program that aligns with the federal government’s while maintaining the flexibility needed to incorporate their individual needs.

StateScoop: UT San Antonio gets CISA grant to develop high-value asset cybersecurity

(March 9, 2021) — The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Monday announced a $1.2 million grant to a think tank at University of Texas at San Antonio that will launch a pilot program to help state and local governments improve the cyber defenses of their most critical systems.

CIAS K–12 Cybersecurity Program goes national to boost student interest

(November 30, 2020) — The CIAS K–12 Cybersecurity Program has launched nationally to provide an innovative approach to creating a culture of cybersecurity for people of all ages by improving and expanding student interest in cybersecurity.

Avoiding credit card fraud during the pandemic

(July 28, 2020) — Social distancing means more time at home and often more online shopping. Protect yourself from credit card fraud while you protect your health from the coronavirus.

New Game Aims to Teach Cybersecurity to Elementary Kids

(July 8, 2020) — Actively working to improve the Nation’s culture of cybersecurity, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio has developed Cyber Threat Protector, a new tabletop card game that is designed to introduce cybersecurity principles and safety to players – beginning in the third grade.

Free Cyber Security Resources for Children During COVID-19
20Apr

Free Cyber Security Resources for Children During COVID-19

BLOG — To complement – and supplement – the eLearning assignments children are using to pass the time at home, parents can access additional cybersecurity and technology focused activity sheets. The UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security offers a variety of resources for free to families to help create a culture of cybersecurity for all ages.

Online Gaming Tips for Parents
10Mar

Online Gaming Tips for Parents

BLOG — No matter how old your child may be, there are some common sense best practices, as well as steps you can take, to help the players in your home enjoy playing online games in a safe and cyber-secure environment. To help you navigate the online gaming world, consider the following tips before and after your child begins to play a game online.

Kens5.com: Understanding Cyber Attacks

(January 12, 2020) — In light of the overseas conflict, there’s been a lot of talk about the nation’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Dwayne Williams, associate director at the CIAS, provides insights into cyber attacks and how families can protect their homes from cybersecurity vulnerabilities in this Kens5.com interview.

Cyber Talk Radio: Cyber Competitions at UTSA

(December 3, 2019) — Bret Piatt, CTR host, and Dwayne Williams, associate director of technology and research at UTSA’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) discuss creating nationwide programs such as CyberPatriot and the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. – Episode 166 of Cyber Talk Radio.

Hackers can Hijack Your Home with these 10 Smart Devices

BLOG — The Internet is full of stories of cybercriminals invading a home by hijacking its smart devices. You’re probably familiar with some of these devices, such as smart thermostats, smart speakers and Web cams. But have you thought about that fancy new refrigerator you just purchased, or your light bulbs? To help you navigate some common – and often forgotten – smart devices in your home, we’ve compiled 10 Internet of Things (IoT) devices that hackers can hijack.

Senate Passes Cornyn Bill to Enhance Cybersecurity Programs at UTSA, A&M

(November 22, 2019) — U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act, legislation that would authorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work with the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) to help prepare for and respond to cybersecurity risks at the national, state, and local levels, passed the Senate.

KLRN SciTech Now: Preventing Cybersecurity Hack Attacks

(October 3, 2019) — Cybersecurity is critical for individuals, companies and the military. See how high-tech and low-tech are holding hands to prevent security hack attacks. The University of Texas at San Antonio invented a new card game, which pairs with a digital game to teach people of all ages how to protect their assets.

Georgia Recorder: Cyber attack headaches linger at state patrol, other Ga. agencies

(September 9, 2019) — Cyber attacks that hit some state agencies in Georgia earlier this summer continue to ripple through the system, particularly for law enforcement and the courts. Meanwhile, security officials work to boost software safeguards and train thousands of employees to avoid triggering future attacks. … All Georgia government agencies should instruct employees not to open suspicious emails or documents, said Greg White, the director of the CIAS.

TechTonics: Meet the Professor Tapped to Unite Us in the Fight Against Hackers

(August 29, 2019) — Greg White wants you to share information. Not necessarily with him, but with your business competitors and industry peers. The University of Texas at San Antonio computer science professor is leading the charge to create a nationwide network of information-sharing outfits – from mariachi groups to investment firms – in a strength-in-numbers approach to combating cyberattacks.

BizJournals: Municipalities becoming more prominent target for cybercrime

Municipalities are being attacked and their data is being held ransom by cybercriminals. Recently, 22 cities in Texas were hit with simultaneous ransomware attacks. The attack on the 22 cities was a hot topic during two recent back-to-back conferences in San Antonio: the CyberTexas Foundation conference and the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization Standards Organization’s third annual International Information Sharing Conference hosted by the CIAS at UTSA.

ExpressNews.com: Leaders tout San Antonio’s defenses against cyber attacks

(August 21, 2019) — After hackers last week hijacked the data of 22 Texas towns, tech experts in San Antonio this week said the city isn’t impervious to such attacks — but it has one of the strongest cyber defenses of any U.S. community. “We still have a lot to do,” said Greg White, a leading regional cybersecurity expert and director of the CIAS at UTSA. “But we’re on the right path.”

SingularityHub.com: Undeclared Wars in Cyberspace are Becoming More Aggressive and Automated

(August 1, 2019) — The definition of what constitutes a cyber attack is a broad one, according to Greg White, executive director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

At the level of nation-state attacks, cyberwarfare could involve “attacking systems during peacetime—such as our power grid or election systems.”