With NU Chief Information Security Officer George J. Silowash (far left) as their adviser, six students (l-r) Anthony Alessi, Jacob Ratajczak, Ryan Jasmann, Emma Nettleship, Keegan Ferry, and Zack Garvey, worked onsite at Levi’s® Stadium during the 2019 College Football National Championship to monitor critical systems and provide expert analysis of suspicious activity. (Photo by Jay Watson.)

Norwich University Cybersecurity Program Supports Levi’s® Stadium for 2019 College Football National Championship

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Security and Information Assurance program provided cybersecurity support to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., during the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship played on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, between Alabama and Clemson.

“The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship was an overwhelming success at Levi’s Stadium, in large part, due to our IT team led by Jim Bartholomew,” said 49ers Vice President of Stadium Operations and Levi’s Stadium General Manager Jim Mercurio. “Some of the best in the business, Jim and team worked seamlessly to secure our stadium network and ensure a safe environment for college football’s biggest game. I was equally impressed by the dedication of the Norwich University students, who played an instrumental role in safeguarding our network’s security on game day.”

Along with partners Santa Clara Police Department, which covers Levi’s Stadium, Allied Telesis and Respond Software, the Norwich team provided critical support to this Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) – 3 event.

“Being a part of the national championship has opened my eyes to all the hard work that goes into pulling off such an event and it was amazing to see everything come together,” student Anthony Alessi said. “I have walked away with a new respect for, both, the support staff that run around to make sure both teams look great, as well as the security forces keeping fans safe. Being a part of this event has given me real-world experience in securing data.”

The students deployed Security Onion, an open source software solution, to collect and analyze security events from hardware sensors that they designed, configured and managed and installed across the stadium network. The security solution in conjunction with Respond Software helped the students analyze threats and elevate them to stadium management for resolution. The students worked closely with the Levi’s Stadium Information Technology team.

“When your stadium hosts an event like the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship, there are so many operational demands on the stadium network so we take every precaution to not overlook a potential security vulnerability,” said Jim Bartholomew, Director of Information Technology for the San Francisco 49ers. “Having the students of Norwich University as part of our team was a huge asset to our organization and to the event. Their expertise, thoroughness and professionalism are unmatched, and I never had to worry about the security of our stadium network knowing they were watching everything. It was a pleasure to work with the students, and we look forward to Norwich University helping our team with future events.”

“As an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in cybersecurity education, we strive to provide hands-on, real-world opportunities for our students to hone their skills,” Norwich University President Richard Schneider said.

Levi’s Stadium, home to Super Bowl 50, to which Norwich students also gave cybersecurity support three years ago, is one of the most technologically capable stadiums in the world.

Ranked #2 by the Ponemon Institute for cyber security in the U.S., Norwich University programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for cyber security education. Norwich University is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has received designation as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). Beginning in 2002, Norwich University became a member of what is now called National Science Foundation’s Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service program. Norwich is partnered with the United States Army Reserve (USAR) to develop cyber-education curricula that align with federal standards and cybersecurity needs. Most recently, Norwich’s online graduate program was named one of the top 10 best cybersecurity graduate programs in the country by Universities.com.

Norwich is also home to GenCyber@NU, a National Security Agency and National Science Foundation-funded cybersecurity camp for high school students.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M'17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
Mobile: 1 (802) 595-3613
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Upcoming Featured Events

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Norwich University collects personal data about visitors to our website in order to improve the user experience and provide visitors with personalized information about our programs and services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you accept the information policies and practices outlined in our Privacy Policy.