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$180 Million Cyber Security Complex Coming to UAlbany

By Julia Weiss

Photo Credit - Cameron Cupp / ASP

The average information security analyst makes over $90,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Every school wanting to keep up with the times is throwing a cyber program together, and UAlbany is no different.

The most tangible part of this effort is UAlbany cybersecurity’s new home: the Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex (ETEC) on the Harriman Campus.

The $180 million complex, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021, is being partially financed through the NYSUNY 2020 program led by Governor Cuomo.

“It’s still in the proposal phase. A lot of the specifics haven’t gotten through yet,” explained university spokesperson Mike Nolan.

John Giarrusso, Associate Vice President of the UAlbany Department of Facilities Management, says the layout will house a diverse array of the sciences.

“It’s transformative because we’re putting researchers, academics, students, and teaching spaces all on this single topic with a common thread that will be one of a kind in the country,” Giarrusso said.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his support for the UAlbany initiative in early October, and announced a piece of legislation that would provide $3.7 million in federal aid for cybersecurity programs.

Schumer cited a lack of cybersecurity professionals in New York and the country as a whole, underscoring the major need for programs like the one UAlbany is proposing.

“The profound need for a robust pipeline of trained cybersecurity workers at the community college level, the four year college level, and the MA and PHD level is apparent,” said Schumer. “It’s one of the things that’s most needed in America right now. And our SUNY system can fill that important important vacuum.”

“It’s a good move to become a leader in cyber security as that is the newest frontline of what you might call modern warfare,” says Sophomore Michael Velazquez, an information technology major at UAlbany. “Everything is digital today.”

While the cybersecurity job market remains in a shortage, cyberattacks certainly are not, adding another level of urgency to filling these career openings.

The increase of hacking and online attacks against government programs are a major incentive for the grant programs being introduced at almost all levels of government.

“You may remember the attack on Albany’s police force where patrol cars could not speak to headquarters,” said Schumer. “Syracuse city was hacked and had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to regain access to the system. They then had to upgrade user security after in case the hackers came back.”

The field is also a lucrative one.

“These are good paying jobs,” Schumer said. “The median salary of an information security analyst is $150,000 a year.”

ASP staff will soon be given a tour of the new ETEC facility. Keep an eye out for Part II of this article in the coming weeks!


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