Cybersecurity Defense Initiative

The Criminal Justice Institute’s (CJI) Cybersecurity Defense Initiative (CDI) is a national cybersecurity training program funded since 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Training and Education Division, (DHS/FEMA/NTED). As one of the founding members of the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC), cybersecurity training developed and delivered by CDI through NCPC funding is made available to information technology (IT) practitioners, both in the public and private sector, who are responsible for securing computer networks or responding to any type of cyber-based attack against these networks. Training prepares students to prevent or greatly reduce the risk of a cyber-based attack against their network and provides guidance on how to respond more effectively or recover from a cyber-attack. Classes are delivered at no cost throughout the country. If interested in hosting a course delivery or for more information email:

National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC)

The threat of cyber-attacks against our nation’s technical infrastructure are real and immediate. Computers and servers in the United States are the most aggressively targeted information systems in the world, with attacks increasing in severity, frequency, and sophistication each year. As our nation’s critical infrastructure grows more reliant on information technologies, it also becomes more exposed to attackers, both foreign and domestic. These attacks can threaten our nation’s economy, public works, communication systems, computer networks, and all other critical infrastructure.

To counter these threats, the University of Arkansas System’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) and four other University Centers have partnered to establish the NCPC. Dr. Cheryl May, Director of CJI, is the NCPC chair and in this capacity oversees NCPC activities and provides leadership to further the NCPC mission, to provide research-based, cybersecurity-related training, exercises, and technical assistance to help State, Local, Tribe, and Territory (SLTT) communities establish viable and sustainable programs to prevent, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks.

The NCPC was established in 2010. The original founding members were the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security UTSA, and the University of Arkansas System’s Criminal Justice Institute. Other NCPC members include the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service TEEX; Norwich University NUARI; and the University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance Memphis; NCPC members each have a long established cybersecurity training program and in partnership with other members, collaborate, share resources, and coordinate efforts to fulfill the NCPC mission. Find out more about the NCPC and the training offered by visiting the NCPC Website.

All NCPC courses are certified through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Training and Education Division (NTED). Courses are available for the whole community to include end-users/individuals; leadership; and information technology practitioners within state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) communities. Courses are delivered in-person, on-line, and virtually. Because of the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, NCPC courses are continuously updated. Thanks to DHS/FEMA funding, all NCPC courses are delivered at NO-COST.

CDI courses currently offered through the NCPC include Comprehensive Cybersecurity Defense (CCD), Cybersecurity First Responder (CFR), Cybersecurity Proactive Defense (CPD), Malware Prevention, Discovery, and Recovery (MPDR), and Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI). Course descriptions and prerequisites for each course are listed under the courses link.

Other NCPC Members

UTSA University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security

TEEX Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service

UofM University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance

NUARI Norwich University

NCPC Courses offered by CDI

CDI classroom

Malware Prevention, Discovery, and Recovery (MPDR)

Jul 22 – Jul 25, 2024

UofA Community and Technical College Classroom 216
604 Barnette St
Fairbanks, AK 99701

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A classroom full of adults with laptops

Network Traffic Analysis (NTA)

Aug 5 – Aug 7, 2024

Kentucky Electric Cooperatives
1630 Lyndon Farm Ct Ste 200
Louisville, KY 40223

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CDI classroom

Internet of Things Security

Aug 19 – Aug 22, 2024

City of Allen City Hall
305 Century Parkway
Allen, TX 75013

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CDI classroom

Comprehensive Cybersecurity Defense (CCD)

Sep 16 – Sep 19, 2024

Flagler County Emergency Operations Center
1769 E. Moody Blvd, Bldg #3
Bunnell, FL 32110

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An empty classroom with tables full of laptops

Network Traffic Analysis (NTA)

Nov 18 – Nov 20, 2024


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CDI classroom

Comprehensive Cybersecurity Defense (CCD)

Dec 9 – Dec 12, 2024

Criminal Justice Institute
26 Corporate Hill Dr
Little Rock, AR 72205

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Free Cybersecurity Training

A meeting room that will comfortably accommodate up to 32 course participants and has a minimum of two (2) preferably 15 or 20-AMP electrical circuits to accommodate the amount of electronic equipment that will be used is needed at the host site.

The training room will also need a hard-wired high-speed internet connection with a minimum of 256 kb per second bandwidth. Wireless internet connections, with exception of the Malware Prevention, Discovery, and Recovery (MPDR) course, will not accommodate our equipment.

Most NCPC courses offered through CDI utilize a blended learning approach that incorporates instructor-led classroom lecture with hands-on computer lab exercises. Currently we ship a mobile computer-training lab to the training site approximately 1 week prior to the training date. As a result, CDI staff will need access to the training room on the weekend prior to the class beginning on Monday for classroom set-up.

The host is asked to provide the phone number of a technical point of contact. This person should be knowledgeable of the facility, its network and internet access, and have access to network closets. We also rely on the hosting site to assist with course advertisement and outreach to potential interested parties within the targeted audience.

The host is provided a training flyer with a registration link. The flyer provides information about the course(s) to be delivered, the dates of delivery, location of delivery, and any prerequisites for attendance. A training event will be posted to the CDI website 4 to 8 weeks prior to the course delivery date and registration will begin at that time.

We look forward to coming to your area.

If your jurisdiction is interested in hosting a CDI course or any NCPC course, please contact:

Coming Soon

CDI is currently developing additional courses that will be available in the near future. For more information on these upcoming courses, click here.

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