ASU Unveils Cybersecurity Program


I spent several hours at ASU SkySong in Tempe, AZ with Jim Cook a couple of weeks ago discussing the broader road map for the data security space. Jim has an interesting job title: ASU Director of Business Development for the Office of Knowledge, Enterprise, and Economic Development. I didn’t know such an office existed at ASU… I was very impressed with his personal insight into the area of data technology and security AND with the university’s foresight to recognize the need for education in this area of specialty. The leadership demonstrated by ASU here will provide economic benefits for the entire Metropolitan Phoenix area. Here is a brief overview…

Facility under Construction

ASU has decided to start a program centered around cyber security. A building is currently under construction with classrooms, offices and a functional data center mock-up that will house the program. I was brought into discussions regarding the physical security design on this project by Jim and a colleague Laura Ploughe (Director of Business Applications and Fiscal Control). More than other types of facilities, Data Centers demand a collaboration between Logical and Physical Security professionals. CPP’s work along side CISSP’s to ensure the security of critical data storage and processing environments.


The intent of this program is to educate future network and data center managers and incubate the development of related new technologies and associated start-ups. The vision is to develop an industry leadership role at the forefront of new trends and leading-edge technologies. This is an exciting idea long over-due for an area like ours, with a strong technology footprint.


ASU has an interest in demonstrating the future direction of data technologies. Our discussion encompassed broad swathes of the I.T. / I.S. space: PON (passive optical network), POL (passive optical LAN), Wireless Data, Encryption, Identity Management, System Integration and much more. We explored physical security ideas like: convenience vs. effectiveness, complexity vs. user-friendliness, aesthetic concerns, limiting intrusion on the work environment, future-proofing technology investment, etc. The time really flew, as we got lost in our shared enthusiasm for the topic…

Business Alliances

The facility will not be ready until later next year, but ASU is interested in developing national and local business alliances and strategic partnerships now to provide a real-world understanding of industry trends, challenges, needs… These relationships will also provide a conduit for placing interns and a base of potential employers looking to hire these special ASU graduates. From my perspective, this could easily turn into the local “think tank” developing the new talent that will influence the future of the industry in our area.

If you find yourself reading this post and would like to explore what ASU has to offer your company in this regard, I would be happy to try and make the connection. This was published on my personal blog with the permission of Jim Cook.

About Doug Levin

Doug is a certified (PSP, AHC, LEED AP), experienced business development professional with a focus on the physical security industry. With a diverse background that includes delivering products & services through multiple channels (manufacturing, distribution, specialty & general contracting), he brings a broad industry perspective that adds greater value for his clients. Having decades of experience with sales engineering and design-build of low-voltage automated systems, he also offers a strong emphasis on technical knowledge and consulting services. His career has included responsibility for: profit & loss, operations and sales management with front-line experience in estimating, sales/marketing, project management and developing security design documents & spec writing.
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