DIR Partners with Angelo State University for Pilot Regional Security Operations Center

April 14, 2022
Cybersecurity News

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) announced today that it will partner with Angelo State University to operate the pilot Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) to provide Texas local governments with cybersecurity support.  

“We are excited to partner with ASU as we expand cybersecurity services to local entities in the West Texas region,” said Amanda Crawford, DIR’s Executive Director and Chief Information Officer for the state of Texas. “We received exceptional proposals from several Texas public universities, but ASU’s proposal convinced us that they will hit the ground running and lay the foundation for this program’s future success for all of Texas.”

“Angelo State is proud to partner with the DIR on this initiative,” said ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. “It fits tightly within our vision of being an innovative leader for the region, state, and globe. This program will enable ASU to become a leader in the region and foster a cyber/technology community of practice with a variety of entities and groups, each with their own unique needs. Our key objective is to develop a cybersecurity center of excellence that not only is a regional hub, but also one for the state of Texas.”

Senate Bill 475, passed in the 87th Legislative Session, created the RSOC to provide “boots on the ground” support close to local governments that need assistance with major cybersecurity incidents.  The RSOC will also offer network security infrastructure that local governments can utilize and give university students hands-on experience to strengthen the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow. The RSOC may also provide real-time network security monitoring; network security alerts; incident response; and cybersecurity educational services. Eligible customers include counties, local governments, school districts, water districts, hospital districts, and regional state agency offices.

DIR’s vision – which was codified by state leadership during the 87th legislative session – is to partner with additional public universities to RSOCs throughout the state to serve local entities and assist in protecting the state from cyber threats. This vision aligns with a whole-of-state approach to cybersecurity that increases the threat protection and cyber maturity of all of Texas through collaboration and partnerships.

ASU deployment strategy is to leverage existing cybersecurity academic programs in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies, Department of Computer Science and other departments, as well as existing staff and infrastructure, to grow local expertise, expand ASU facilities, and increase infrastructure and resources to expedite the establishment of the RSOC. ASU will also provide a continuous pipeline of quality interns to augment the RSOC while the students gain real-world experience in offensive and defensive cyber operations and cyber intel support.

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