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UC Hires Director to Lead Development and Implementation of Ohio Cyber Range

Former CBTS executive brings nearly two decades of leadership experience in the IT field to OCR@UC.

Date: 2/22/2018 9:30:00 AM
By: Matt Koesters
Phone: (513) 556-5279
Stephen J. Smith

Stephen Smith has been hired to serve as the director of the Ohio Cyber Range at the University of Cincinnati (“OCR@UC”). Smith’s first day on the job was Monday, Feb. 19.

“Today, virtually every business and government entity must defend against cyber threats from state-sponsored hackers, organized cyber syndicates and terrorists,” Smith said.

OCR@UC is a virtual computing environment that lives in the cloud and provides users access to computing resources in general, as well as resources to educate, train, investigate, and practice skills and techniques to protect and defend digital assets.

“It is with excitement that we welcome Mr. Smith to the university,” said Hazem Said, director of the School of Information Technology. “Steve is a regional leader who brings energy, passion and experience working with K-12, higher education and the IT industry. As director of the Ohio Cyber Range at UC, Steve will lead a team that builds upon and expands our Sandbox system to offer Ohioans an array of educational, research and workforce opportunities.”

The Ohio Department of Higher Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Adjutant General's Department, awarded UC $1.9 million to establish a demonstration site for the Range by June 2019. UC was chosen because its existing Sandbox virtual computing environment already possesses many of the features OCR@UC requires.

Smith, a 17-year veteran of the information technology field, previously served in leadership roles with Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions. He is also the president of A Wired Family LLC, which provides educational programming and literature for children and parents on the consequences of online activity.

Cyber attacks such as those that occurred in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election and security breaches at major financial institutions has put the issue of cyber defense at the center of the national conversation. UC is leading efforts in Ohio and nationwide to broaden the field’s talent pool, and is one of only 18 institutions of higher learning with National Security Agency Centers of Excellence for both cyber operations and cyber defense.