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Protecting the World from Cyber Attacks

YU Opens First-of-its-Kind Security Operations Center to Train the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts

Responding to the urgent need for next-gen cybersecurity experts who will make the nation and the world safer, Yeshiva University’s Katz School of Science and Health opened a new Security Operations Center (SOC) to provide an unprecedented level of hands-on, real-world training and cyber-defense skills.

The first of its kind in New York City, YU’s new SOC and cyber range—a high-fidelity clone of a real-life network system under a simulated cyber-attack—immerse students in real-world scenarios and simulations, cutting-edge tools and techniques, and live-fire attacks—so they can master the cyber defense skills needed to beat the best hackers.

“At the Katz School, our mission is to do more than just graduate students in the field of cybersecurity,” said Paul Russo, YU’s vice provost and dean of the Katz School of Science and Health. “Our mission is to meet the needs of industry for next-gen cybersecurity experts who will make the nation and the world safer. The SOC provides the hands-on experience that CISOs in every industry are seeking, and very few programs provide this level of real-world training.”

YU students hone their cybersecurity skills in the Security Operations Center

Located on Yeshiva University’s (YU) Beren Campus in Midtown Manhattan, the Security Operations Center was dedicated on March 8 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony co-sponsored by the New York State Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Israeli Economic Mission to the United States. The launch was attended by Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University; Selma Botman, provost of Yeshiva University; Paul Russo, Yeshiva University vice provost and founding dean of the Katz School; Anat Katz, economic minister with the Israel Economic Mission to the USA; Asaf Zamir, consul general of Israel in New York; and Daria Siegel, vice president for special initiatives at NYCEDC.

Developed in partnership with Cyberbit, provider of a leading cybersecurity skills development platform, the SOC uses Cyberbit’s advanced cyber range as a training ground, giving graduate students in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, computer science and data analytics unprecedented access to threat scenarios where they can find weak links in computer systems before criminals can exploit them, and defend against hackers during live-fire attacks by leveraging the same networks, firewalls and proxies they will find in a corporate environment. The Katz School also plans to open the SOC to local businesses and nonprofits that lack dedicated security teams of their own.

Attendees at the opening of YU's Security Operations Center included, from left, Paul Russo, vice provost and founding dean of the Katz School; Asaf Zamir, consul general of Israel in New York; Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University; Prof. Sivan Tehila, director of YU's M.S. in cybersecurity; and Anat Katz, economic minister with Israel Economic Mission to the USA

"The Katz School's innovative vision will deliver workforce-ready graduates prepared to excel in their careers,” said Adi Dar, CEO of Cyberbit. “I am thrilled to see the Katz School innovating and leading this approach in the State of New York.”

At the March 8 ceremony, YU announced the winners of the school’s first live-fire hackathon, held in the SOC earlier that day. M.S. in Cybersecurity students Israel Pomerantz, Motty Zisovitch, Jacob Grosh and Binyomin Weiner from the Sara Schenirer Institute Men’s Division won the competition, which featured a reverse-engineered real-world attack.

The Katz School currently has 70 students in its top-ranked cybersecurity master’s program, which was launched four years ago. With the opening of the Security Operations Center, YU expects enrollment to more than double. Training the next generation of experts is particularly important in cybersecurity, a job field that is vital to today’s economy and is projected to grow by 35% over the next decade.

“We're one of the first schools to launch a Security Operations Center, the nerve center of any security organization," said Sivan Tehila, Director of the Katz School’s M.S. in Cybersecurity. "The SOC allows us to simulate a real-world cyber-attack and by that, our students are getting the opportunity to experience what it means to be a security analyst. As a hiring manager, it's a huge advantage to hire someone who understands what it means to work in a SOC. The fact that our students are getting this exposure is a real competitive advantage in this market.”