Security Center of Excellence (SCE) Charter


The Harrisburg University GTI Security Center of Excellence aims to be a strategic partner with public sector organizations in their information security and cyber defense efforts by providing innovative and effective educational programs and community building services.

The Mission of the Security Center of Excellence is to:

  • Provide leading-edge education and training to address the current and future needs of information security professionals working in the public sector;
  • Facilitate collaboration among information security professionals in efforts to address cyber security threats by hosting activities that support the exchange of information and experiences;
  • Foster innovation by providing opportunities that support the identification, analysis and application of new technologies and emerging methods used for cyber security;
  • Increase awareness and understanding regarding the importance of information security strategies in safeguarding public and private interests.


Securing computer systems and data is an increasing challenge. Major corporations report devastating breaches to their systems, losing significant amounts of customer personal data. Such incidents have high cost both financially and in consumer confidence.

Government is not immune to these incidents. The Federal Office of Personnel and Management and states like South Carolina and Utah (among others) have all had personal citizen data stolen from government databases. As a result, taxpayers were responsible for paying for credit monitoring services and other costs. Costs have been in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is no surprise that this led to a troubling loss in confidence among their citizens.

Developing and maintaining a strong security defense reduces the risk of such incidents, although all agree it is virtually impossible to ensure complete success. While cyber security involves an array of sophisticated tools, at the core of any cyber security strategy are skilled professionals. Maintaining the skills and readiness of Information Security professionals is a critical component of cyber defense, particularly given the rapid pace of change in tools, techniques and challenges. Faced with shrinking budgets, it becomes even more critical that cost-effective opportunities for development of the IT security workforce are available.

With this in mind, Harrisburg University established the Security Center of Excellence (SCE). The center is a targeted effort to support government security leaders and their staffs as well as the private sector through educational programs, collaboration and awareness-raising initiatives. As a Global Academic Partner with (ISC)2, a global leader in information security standards, Harrisburg University leverages these resources in addition to its faculty, students and business partners to connect Information Security professionals with the latest, best practices and technologies. Through its partnerships with leading technology and security companies, the business community, technology associations and educational institutions, the center brings together a robust community of stakeholders and contributors in support of a shared mission.



  • Develop and deliver initial educational programs and sessions including
    • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Certificate program
  • Coordinate activities that raise awareness and promote collaboration
    • Security Center Awareness and Launch Event
    • Mini-forums, briefings, etc.
    • Online presence, including references and resources
  • Foster participation among public and private organizations
    • Conduct outreach with various stakeholder groups to foster membership and participation


  • Evaluate and expand educational offerings
  • Expand awareness-raising and collaboration-focus events
  • Host cybersecurity summit
  • Enhance communications including online resources and digital community
  • Grow participation to include a broader array of public sector, including local government and public education

2017 and Beyond

  • The Center continues to expand and enhance programs

Success Criteria

  • The Center tracks outcomes to identify its impact on its vision and mission. Such metrics include:
  • Number of participants served by Center programs
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Other evidence of improved security position within the stakeholder community

Stakeholders & Decision Making

The Center serves public sector information security operations including the Commonwealth of PA, local government including counties, municipalities and other public entities, public education community and the private sector. It works closely with the Commonwealth Chief Information Security Officer and the sponsor advisory board to identify needs and priorities.

The center operates under the leadership of Harrisburg University and the Government Technology Institute. An advisory board consisting of public sector stakeholders from the Commonwealth, local government and other public entities, representatives from the private sector and other subject matter experts from academia provides recommendations to the Center administrators. Members of the Security Center provide representatives to the advisory board.

Funding and Sustainability

Private sector companies with expertise in information security are members of the security center. An annual membership fee from each member company is used to underwrite center operations, including management, outreach and program development. Additional funding is generated through registration fees for enrollment in programs.


Organizations that are sponsors/members of the Government Technology Institute can become members of the Security Center of Excellence. Private sector companies, technology associations and educational institutions recognized for their expertise in information security are invited to become members of the Security Center of Excellence and the GTI.