As the United States continues to invest in the overall improvement of the country’s physical and digital infrastructure, two leading tech companies have announced a multi-year joint initiative to bring advanced IT and cybersecurity solutions to historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) as a gift outright.
As part of the project coordinated by the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI), a nonprofit dedicated to enabling the social and economic mobility of students at HBCUs, AVCtechnologies will implement multiple Cisco (News - Alert) security products, and provide consulting, logistics, engineering implementations, and long-term management services initially to nine educational institutions, with a mission to implement at all 107 HBCUs across the US.
“The cybersecurity considerations and requirements facing educational institutions are great and have a significant impact on Title IV funding,” said Xavier Williams, CEO, AVCtechnologies. “We understand the digital divide these institutions need to overcome. And as technology providers, we have seen firsthand how it has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the abrupt displacement of unplanned, unsecure remote environments. This initiative provides companies such as AVCtechnologies the ability to address these challenges head on.”
AVCtechnologies will leverage technological expertise, solutions, and financial resources to contribute toward adherence to cybersecurity standards and put controls in place through NIST 800-171 r2 assessments at the participating institutions, including the Xavier University of Louisiana and Prairie View A&M University.
“We have supported the technology initiatives of schools, colleges, and universities for decades,” said Worth Davis, president of solution technology, AVCtechnologies. “Adapting and transforming legacy infrastructures, systems, and processes to meet the growing and changing education landscape requires trust and expertise; our team offers both. We are a Cisco Gold Partner with three master certifications and recognized as Cisco’s breakout partner of the year and AT&T’s (News - Alert) Cybersecurity Growth Partner of the Year.”
Title IV funding is awarded to institutions of higher education that meet certain criteria, including the ability to provide students with access to degree programs that prepare them for employment. To do so, schools need to ensure their own infrastructure is capable of supporting the needs of their students.
“This initiative is an imperative for HBCUs who receive significant need-based funding,” said Keith B. Shoates, Chief Operating Officer, SFI. “SFI is playing a key role as the facilitator to protect Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with recent Department of Education, Federal Student Aid (FSA) requirements and modernize the IT infrastructure for HBCUs. Equally important, this partnership will provide increased operational resiliency, efficiency, and reduced operating costs, which is foundational to improving the institutions and student outcomes. We are pleased to have a technology leader like AVCtechnologies partnering with us in this initiative.”
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Luke Bellos