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Allstate Pledges $1.5Mn for Arizona State's Cybersecurity Center

Arizona State University’s Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (CDF) is partnering with Allstate Insurance on cybersecurity research, education and entrepreneurship.

As the founding, platinum-level member and industry partner of CDF, Allstate Insurance has pledged $1.5 million over three years to support scholarships, student fellowships and competitions related to cybersecurity and digital forensics. In return, it will receive assistance in sourcing ASU students for internships, opportunities to partake in CDF-sponsored events, and office space at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

“In addition to managing sensitive and valuable data, Allstate is also arming itself against potential risks that might accompany emerging cyber-related technologies, including smart vehicles and home automation,” said Gail-Joon Ahn, director of the center and professor at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, who will be leading the partnership. “Allstate’s partnership with the Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics will help identify and understand potential risks to help the insurance company continue to provide excellent service and fulfill its business goals.”

The partnership is expected to be the first of many that will link the center to industry, university and government entities that will play a vital role in producing a skillful workforce in the area of national security and contribute to economic growth.

“Allstate provides innovative protection and retirement solutions to more than 16 million households across the country. We are also committed to the protection of confidential information,” said Paul Black, director of security engineering and operations at Allstate. “Our partnership with ASU aligns perfectly with our goals; to keep ahead of evolving cyber threats and constantly deploy innovative methods to protect our valuable information assets. We’re excited to collaborate with ASU to share cutting-edge academic research and apply what we learn to real-time corporate issues.”

To extend the impact of ASU cybersecurity and digital forensics research even further, CDF also aims to promote commercialization and technology transfer activities to advance innovation and entrepreneurial activities in the field.

“This partnership fits perfectly with the center's mission, bringing together expertise from private industry and academia, and giving students an opportunity to get hands-on experience. I look forward to working with Allstate to continue to establish the Valley as a leader in cybersecurity research, entrepreneurship and education,” said Nadya Bliss, director of the Global Security Initiative, which houses CDF.

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