DeapSECURE – Data Enabled Advanced Training Platform for Cybersecurity Research and Education

DeapSECURE is a training program to infuse high-performance computational techniques into cybersecurity research and education. It is an NSF-funded project of the ODU School of Cybersecurity along with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Information Technology Services at ODU. The DeapSECURE team is actively developing six non-degree training modules to expose cybersecurity students to advanced CI platforms and techniques rooted in big data, machine learning, neural networks, and high-performance programming. Techniques taught in DeapSECURE workshops are rather general and transferable to other areas including science, engineering, finance, linguistics, etc.

Please check out the sign-up page to register for an upcoming workshop.

Registration for 2023 Summer Institute Is Open!

June 5-7, 2023, on ODU Norfolk Campus
Please follow the link above to learn more about this workshop and to register. Please sign up soon. Space is limited!

Registration deadline: May 25, 2023.

Open Source Announcement

(December 6, 2022) We open-sourced the DeapSECURE’s “Machine Learning” and “Deep Learning” lessons! Please visit the linked announcement and check out our released lessons. Adopters and contributors are welcome!

What’s in the Name?

The name DeapSECURE stands for Data-Enabled Advanced Computational Training Platform for Cybersecurity Research and Education. This name embodies the specific characteristics of this training program:

Data-enabled: DeapSECURE leverages real data sets, such as data generated by well-respected cybersecurity researchers and practitioners, in the hands-on activities;

Advanced Computational Training Platform: DeapSECURE introduces advanced computational methods such as big data analytics and machine learning and platforms such as the high-performance computer (HPC).

Cybersecurity research and education are the target domain and community of the DeapSECURE training.

DeapSECURE Training Modules

From year 2019 onward, here are the six lesson modules in the order they were delivered:

  1. Unraveling Cybercrime Using Supercomputer — Introduction to High-Performance Computing (HPC) (module 1)

  2. Cryptography for Privacy-Preserving Computation (module 5)

  3. Parallel and High-Performance Programming with MPI (module 6)

  4. Dealing with Big Data for Cybersecurity (module 2)

  5. Machine Learning (module 3)

  6. Deep Learning Using Neural Network (module 4)

These modules are delivered through (1) monthly workshops for ODU students, and (2) summer institutes for students from other universities and Research Experiences for Undergraduates participants. Each workshop includes a lecture providing the motivation and context for a CI technique, which is then examined during a hands-on session. The DeapSECURE workshops are designed to enable students to gain hands-on CI experience in the context of cybersecurity application and prepare students with advanced CI techniques to conduct cutting-edge cybersecurity research and/or succeed in advanced industrial cybersecurity projects.

More about our upcoming workshop and how to sign up can be found here.

Our lesson modules are freely available on the Lessons page.

Background of DeapSECURE Training Project

As the volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks grow, cybersecurity researchers, engineers and practitioners heavily rely on advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) techniques such as big data, machine learning, and parallel programming, as well as advanced CI platforms, e.g., cloud and high-performance computing (HPC) to assess cyber risks, identify and mitigate threats, and achieve defense in depth. There is a great need to infuse knowledge about and experience in advanced CI techniques into the emerging educational field of “cybersecurity”, as these have yet not been widely introduced in undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity curricula. This NSF-sponsored project introduces a unique “Data-Enabled Advanced Training Program for Cyber Security Research and Education” (DeapSECURE), aimed to prepare undergraduate and graduate students with advanced CI techniques and teach them to use CI resources, tools, and services to succeed in cutting-edge cybersecurity research and industrial cybersecurity projects. Introducing these techniques in the context familiar to cybersecurity students is a very effective way to let them connect them to their very subject of concern.

Cybersecurity Being Everyone’s Business

DeapSECURE is targeted to teach computational skills to people with interest in cybersecurity, but it is also useful for those who want to learn about HPC, big data and machine learning in a general way. One may ask, Why the emphasis on cybersecurity? As the world is now connected by means of computer technologies, cybersecurity has become everyone’s business. Even though you may not major in cybersecurity (or anything close to it), you still own technology devices which must be kept secure. Hacking, phishing, spam, malware is an unfortunate fact in the Internet. While DeapSECURE is not an education program on cybersecurity per se, it will expose you to general awareness of current issues in cybersecurity research.


DeapSECURE is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) through the OAC/CyberTraining grant #1829771. More detailed acknowledgments are listed in the Acknowledgments page.