Auburn University and KnowCyber launch cybersecurity program for critical infrastructure leaders

Article body

The Auburn University Office of Professional and Continuing Education and KnowCyber LLC have launched the SmartCyber Leadership for Critical Infrastructure interdisciplinary executive education program. The intensive cybersecurity awareness and mitigation program will equip senior and mid-level leaders in energy, transportation, manufacturing, health care and other vulnerable industries to manage cyber risks to their data, information networks and process control systems.

“Cybersecurity is of paramount importance to critical infrastructure,” said Royrickers Cook, associate provost and vice president for University Outreach. “Every day, cyber threats increase in scope and complexity. Leaders in critical infrastructure organizations need to understand cybersecurity essentials and, more importantly, how to integrate cybersecurity risk management with all other business management practices.

“Auburn University Outreach is committed to providing technical and strategic assistance to organizations throughout the Southeast to solve problems, improve systems and encourage innovation. I cannot think of a more important area where we can help than in addressing today’s cybersecurity challenges.”

“All too often, senior leaders in an organization underestimate the critical importance of preparing all their employees, particularly business leaders, to address cybersecurity threats effectively,” said Nick Schacht, CEO of KnowCyber. “They view cybersecurity as merely a technical challenge, when nothing could be further from the truth. Without integrating cybersecurity with other key business processes, through knowledgeable, competent leadership across all business functions, cybersecurity efforts are likely to be marginalized and inadequate.

“Auburn is a leader in the field of cybersecurity, and we look forward to working with them to help meet the urgent needs of their constituents and the communities they serve.”

Beginning in May, SmartCyber courses will be offered in open-enrollment sessions at Auburn University, at other southeastern U.S. locations and in the Washington, D.C., area. Courses will also be delivered on-site for individual clients, customized to address industry and organizational cybersecurity challenges.

To learn more about the SmartCyber Leadership for Critical Infrastructure program, go to or contact Alan Spencer, Office of Professional and Continuing Education, at or 334-844-5193.

For more information about KnowCyber, go to

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.