Contact: Laura McPhail
STARKVILLE, Miss.–Each year, millions of Americans are victims of cybercrime and online fraud with no clear path of reporting or recovery. Individuals and small and medium businesses then experience substantial losses, for which no true rate or cost is known.
Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) has partnered with the public-private nonprofit Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) to provide technical and analytical support to the network’s 211 cybercrime reporting hotline. The 211 call/text/chat infrastructure provides cybercrime victims with access to trained specialists that help them through the reporting and recovery process. CSN was funded from the U.S. Department of Justice Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to expand its Cybercrime Victim Support Initiative to North Carolina, New Jersey, and Mississippi.
“This three-state expansion funding will bring CSN one step closer to our goal of a nationwide cybercrime assistance hotline by the end of 2021," Kristin Judge, founder and CEO of CSN, said. “What success will look like with this initiative is increased reporting, increased recovery, increased resources, and decreased crime and revictimization.”
Judge works with NSPARC to develop data gathering and sharing services, including building a national reporting form, to support the 211 system. This form will capture threat and crime data that will then be shared with the public and private sector. In addition, NSPARC will be responsible for evaluating the Mississippi 211 program.
“With cybercrimes becoming a rising epidemic across the country, NSPARC is pleased to be a part of the solution to get victims the help they need,” Steven Grice, deputy executive director of NSPARC, said. “By utilizing the 211 system, performing data-driven research, and working collectively with academia, businesses, government agencies and the community, we can significantly reduce cybercrimes nationwide.”
With the university’s assistance with the Cybercrime Victim Support Initiative and other initiatives, MSU is at the forefront of promoting cybersecurity awareness and education.
“As Mississippi’s leading research university, we recognize that cybersecurity is an increasing concern for academic institutions, individuals and the nation as a whole,” said Allen Parrish, MSU associate vice president for research and professor of computer science and engineering. “In addition to our strong existing cybersecurity programs in the Bagley College of Engineering, we have been working on advancing our new bachelor of applied science program to include cybersecurity, and we hope other institutions will follow this example.”
MSU is recognized nationally for its leadership in cybersecurity and is one of only nine schools in the U.S. to hold all three of the National Security Agency’s Centers of Academic Excellence credentials: Cyber Defense Education, Cyber Defense Research, and Cyber Operations.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
About Cybercrime Support Network
Cybercrime Support Network is a national 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to assist individual and small business cybercrime victims before, during and after a cybercrime event.
Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) is nationally recognized for creating technology and solutions powered by data science. We use expertise in data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, system of systems, data governance, cybersecurity, and high-performance computing to develop solutions that further human progress. For more information, visit nsparc.msstate.edu.