Mission and Purpose


Our mission is to promote a deeply technical, interdisciplinary higher education program that will produce an exceptional cadre of cybersecurity professionals with expertise in various disciplines of cyber operations related to specialized intelligence, military, and law enforcement, ultimately increasing the security of our nation.


Increasing reliance on and complexity of computing systems, particularly large-scale distributed systems and databases, and increasing sophistication of attacking entities have made it necessary to introduce, at all levels of system design, maintenance, and administration, personnel who are highly trained in cyber operations. As examples:

  • a cyber-ops specialist working at the operational level is trained to identify procedural vulnerabilities and suggest changes to remove them,
  • a cyber-ops specialist working at the system administration level is trained to detect intrusions and attacks and prevent or limit damage that they may incur
  • a cyber-ops specialist working at the OS level is trained to analyze (reverse engineer) code to detect anomalies and malware and to develop strategies that prevent or limit damage due to such software
  • a cyber-ops specialist working at the policy level is trained to analyze and assess cyber threats and opportunities to advance the national security interests of the United States.

The CAE-CO program complements existing Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) and Research (CAE-R) programs, providing a particular emphasis on technologies and techniques related to specialized cyber operations (e.g., collection, exploitation, and response), to enhance the national security posture of our Nation. These technologies and techniques are critical to intelligence, military and law enforcement organizations authorized to perform these specialized operations.