AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Cyber security is top of mind for many after the recent data breach of credit bureau Equifax that could affect as many as 143 million Americans' sensitive data.
Now, Auburn University is using a new grant to help improve cyber security. The five-year, $4.7 million grant is helping prepare Auburn students for careers in the cyber security field.
The grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation and is intended to support cyber security education for graduate and undergraduate students who are in at least their third academic year of schooling.
The grant money goes directly to students in the form of tuition and book scholarships, as well as travel and yearly stipends, but there's a catch.
"For students who are awarded a scholarship, they have to perform a paid internship in the summer, and we help them locate that internship, and the internship has to do with cyber security," said Auburn University's COLSA Professor of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, David Umphress.
"And when they graduate, they have to go to work in the public sector at the federal, state, local, tribal or community level for the length of time of their scholarship," he added.
Umphress said the scholarship will benefit at least 50 students over the next five years.