Initiatives at the Center

The Cybersecurity Center will engage in initiatives to help members of the local and regional community become safer digital consumers. Information security is an important aspect of daily life -- at work and at home, on a computer, on a phone, and anywhere in the Internet of Things. The Center will seek ways to inform, educate, and train people with practical, usable skills and to help develop personal mind sets for protecting data and handling cyber risk.

1. Cyber-mindfulness™ Initiative

Applying the concepts of mindfulness to information security, the Cyber-mindfulness™ initiative at the University of Dayton is building awareness and equipping the UD community with knowledge and practice in resisting cyber threats. Through ongoing education and phish training exercises, it aims to transform individuals from cyber targets to information security allies who collectively defend data and privacy.

Cyber-Mindfulness™ for Safe Computing

Cyber-mindfulness™ is more than the awareness that cyber threats exist. It's an attitude of alertness to threats and an expectation that threats will evolve. It's a sense of stewardship for both personal and community information resources. It's taking responsibility to stay informed, share knowledge, report concerns, and actively take steps to reduce risk and increase defenses. It's a commitment to the ongoing development of knowledge, skills, and communication.

At the University of Dayton, faculty, staff, and students are demonstrating that cyber-mindfulness™ has meaningful impact in reducing risk and increasing effective defenses against cyber threats. More importantly, awareness, knowledge, and ongoing practice are proving a powerful combination for increasing people's confidence to participate as cyber citizens in a community effort.

In January of 2016, UD employees were invited to engage in a year of becoming cyber-mindful™. Through thought-provoking newsletters, hands-on training exercises, face-to-face classes, and incentives for participation, employees embraced the opportunity. Not only did they learn fundamental practices for protecting University information resources, but they also learned practical skills for home computing safety.

Eight months into the program, survey comparison results demonstrated the changes in attitudes, confidence, and efficacy that becoming cyber-mindful™ can achieve:

  • 13% increase of employees who said that they would be able to recognize a suspicious email message (for a total of 77%)
  • Increase to 94% of end-users who agreed with the statement that “everyone has a responsibility to protect their computer from hackers”
  • Decrease to 9.6% of employees who feel that central IT is solely responsible for computer security
  • Decrease to just 6.0% of employees who felt that if hackers wanted access to their computer, there was little that they could do so stop them

The Center for Cybersecurity and Data Intelligence will use the success of the UD employee cyber-mindful training as a springboard for community outreach.

For more information about UD's cyber-mindful™ program, visit

2. Dayton Regional Cyber Range Initiative 

The Dayton Regional Cyber Range will allow both individual users and teams to engage in simulated cybersecurity training exercises, supporting the growth of workforce-ready professionals.

While located in UD’s Center for Cybersecurity & Data Intelligence, this infrastructure is a multi-institutional resource. Member schools and industry partners can engage in shared training and cooperative scheduling.

With its robust experiential exercises, the Cyber Range will serve as an effective training tool, benefiting students, our community, and the information security industry as a whole.

Why a Cyber Range?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 37% job growth rate for information security professionals over the next ten years – a rate that is more than three times the projected average for all occupations.  

In response to this employment trend, the Cyber Range initiative aims to educate, train, and prepare future information security professionals with its extensive capabilities. The Range will support cybersecurity skill-building, as well as strategic and conceptual critical thinking.

In addition to strengthening technical skills, the Cyber Range’s exercises, assignments, and assessments will promote a collaborative work approach. It will provide real-world, experiential opportunities that develop and strengthen cybersecurity practices in a robust “teaming environment.”

Training Workforce-Ready Professionals

This virtual simulation will apply textbook concepts to workplace realities. As an immersive tool, the Cyber Range will provide students with cybersecurity threat detection and mitigation practices that parallel real-world experiences.

Specifically, the Dayton Regional Cyber Range will offer capabilities that directly reflect the skills and experiences most desired by industries seeking cybersecurity talent, including:

  • Virtual cybersecurity training environments with varying levels of skill-building
  • Support of cybersecurity teams to engage in collaborative problem-solving and effective teaming practices
  • ​​“Real-world, on-the-job” cybersecurity threat-vector experiences
  • Robust competitions and exercises, such as “capture the flag”
  • Simulated industry incident management and response exercises
  • Rich reporting and tracking for performance validation and post exercise reviews

These skill-building experiences are critical to developing a qualified cybersecurity workforce, and they also provide continued learning opportunities for those individuals already in the industry.