CISA releases resource guide for university cybersecurity clinics

CISA published a new guide for university cybersecurity programs that includes resources, guidance and grants to support their work.
students in a computer lab
Students use a cyber clinic. (Google)

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published a guide on Wednesday to support a growing number of university-run cybersecurity clinics as they build partnerships with small and local organizations and build out their programs.

University cybersecurity clinics at four-year institutions and community colleges train students to strengthen the digital defenses of nonprofits, hospitals, local governments, small businesses and other under-resourced organizations. CISA’s new guide was designed as a one-stop shop for these programs to access resources, guidance and grants to support their work.

“CISA embraces new opportunities to support cybersecurity clinics at higher-education institutions,” the organization wrote in the new guide. “Clinics play an important role in strengthening the cybersecurity posture of small organizations at the local level. They also help address the national cyber workforce gap by training students with diverse backgrounds to enter a career in cybersecurity.”

In the guide, CISA provides higher education institutions with resources on how to protect small businesses, K-12 districts and health care systems from cybersecurity threats. It also has information on the basics of crafting an incident response plan. CISA provides exercises, vulnerability scanning notifications and a list of free commercial services and other cybersecurity tools in the guide.


Among CISA’s intended audience for the new guide is the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics, which coordinates across more than a dozen university clinics nationwide. The consortium serves as a forum for clinicians, trainers, students and advocates to share knowledge and expand the reach of cyber clinics.

“University, college and community college based cybersecurity clinics are filling an essential gap in cybersecurity defense in their communities,” Ann Cleaveland, consortium co-chair and executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, said in a press release. “The Consortium and our members are tremendously grateful for CISA’s support for these clinics and their clients around the country. This kind of partnership is critical for advancing cybersecurity for the public good.”

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