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ReliaQuest Gifts $1m to Build Cyber Lab at USF

The University of South Florida (USF) has received a $1m gift to fund a cybersecurity lab at the USF Muma College of Business. With the goal of making Florida the “Cyber State,” ReliaQuest extended the gift to USF, payable over the course of five years.

The partnership is being touted as a first-of-its-kind initiative that will prepare students with the skills they need to pursue careers in cybersecurity. "Cybersecurity is one of the hottest job fields that exists today, with a huge demand for skilled professionals. Rather than see this as a challenge, we see it as an opportunity to find innovative solutions together with industry partners like ReliaQuest," said USF Muma College of Business dean Moez Limayem in a press release.

"Ultimately, it's our students who will benefit the most, gaining valuable skills and hands-on experiences that will help them land lucrative jobs after graduation and help build Florida's economy."

The ReliaQuest Cybersecurity Lab will provide hands-on, real-world training in a security operations center (SOC) environment. The gift highlights the company’s effort to address the workforce shortage looming over the cybersecurity industry.

The lab is an extension of ReliaQuest University, the internal training program that already exists at ReliaQuest. Partnering with USF will expand the reach of the training by offering a four-week immersive program in the fundamentals of cybersecurity. As part of the partnership, all students at USF, regardless of their majors, will have access to the Cyber Simulator, the component of ReliaQuest University where users receive the hands-on training with the latest security technologies.

"In the face of what the industry refers to as a talent shortage, we believe that cybersecurity is actually suffering from a skills shortage," said ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy. "There are plenty of people eager to enter the cybersecurity field, but they need the skills to perform effectively in those positions. To overcome this challenge, ReliaQuest has chosen to invest both our expertise and financial resources to help solve one of the biggest problems in the industry."

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