Auburn University’s ‘Cyber Focus’ podcast breaks down the ‘technobabble’

Frank Cilluffo, host of "Cyber Focus," told EdScoop the podcast's aim is to bring important cybersecurity issues to a wider audience.
Cyber Focus podcast
(The McCrary Institute)

The McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security at Auburn University launched a podcast this year in an effort to expand the reach of the institute’s research on cybersecurity and foster conversations about the ever-changing cyber landscape. 

Frank Cilluffo, director of the institute and host of the “Cyber Focus” podcast, told EdScoop that expanding the institute’s content from quarterly empirical reports to podcast interviews with cybersecurity experts has helped bring cyber issues into context for a wider audience.

“We’re trying to bring some of the pressing issues and present them in a way that can actually lead to hopefully some action around not merely admiring problems and describing challenges but also implementing solutions and hopefully doing so in a way that also raises the bar in terms of people’s cyber awareness,” Cilluffo said in an interview.

Cilluffo has released nine episodes of Cyber Focus since it launched in January. He’s landed guests like Michael D’Ambrosio, who once served with the U.S. Secret Service, and Melissa Hathaway, who led cyber initiatives under Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Other guests include cybersecurity journalists Maggie Miller and Sean Lyngaas, a former Scoop News Group reporter.


Cilluffo said the idea of launching a podcast had been rolling around in his head for years. While the cybersecurity community is the target audience of the podcast, he said he hopes Cyber Focus will help break down the “technobabble” so cyber issues can be digested by a wider audience.

“Cyber touches everyone,” Cilluffo said. “It’s not just a tech issue. It is everyone’s issue and for people to be a little more cyber aware can go a long way to enhancing resilience and security.”

While the podcast has so far been primarily focused on international and federal government cybersecurity issues, he said he hopes to expand its scope to include perspectives and experiences from state, local and tribal governments.

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