SDSU, Cyber Center of Excellence, CSU San Marcos and National University receive $1M from Google to launch Cybersecurity Clinic

In collaboration with the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics, will provide funding, volunteers and in-kind support to establish the San Diego Cyber Clinic.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Aerial view of San Diego State University's Malcolm A. Love Library's green-tinted, 80-foot-wide rotunda.
Malcolm A. Love Library

San Diego State University, alongside Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and National University, has been selected to receive $1 million in grant funding and wraparound support from Google’s Cybersecurity Clinics Fund to establish the San Diego Cyber Clinic. The funding from, the company’s philanthropic arm, is part of a $25 million collaboration with the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics

Cybersecurity clinics at higher education institutions provide free digital security services to under-resourced organizations, similar to how law or medical schools offer free community clinics. The new San Diego Cyber Clinic will give SDSU, CSUSM and National University students the opportunity to learn cybersecurity and AI skills in an effective, hands-on manner while simultaneously helping to protect vulnerable organizations and critical infrastructure, such as local small businesses, hospitals, schools, and energy grids, from cyberattacks.

"This new partnership, made possible by Google's Cybersecurity Clinics Fund, will undoubtedly bolster our regional cybersecurity infrastructure and create new hands-on educational opportunities for our students in this fast-growing, in-demand industry," said James Frazee, SDSU’s interim chief information officer and vice president for Information Technology. 

"The development of the San Diego Cyber Clinic marks a significant milestone in our efforts to fortify cybersecurity education and practice at SDSU and across the region," said Lance Larson, co-director of SDSU's Graduate Program in Homeland Security and the project's principal investigator. 

"Through this novel, collaborative approach, we are building defenses in our digital future by providing another avenue for cybersecurity focused students to further hone their skill set and help protect the community against cyberattack by focusing on critical infrastructure protection through the use of cybersecurity assessments,” Larson also said. 

The announcement builds on SDSU’s related efforts in the cybersecurity space on a regional scale. 

Earlier this year, SDSU announced the Technology Infrastructure for Data Exploration (TIDE) project, backed by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, that will upgrade high-performance computing capabilities and increase access to advanced computing for faculty and student researchers across the California State University system. 

According to the World Economic Forum's 2024 Global Risks Report, cyber insecurity remains one of the top 10 global risks over the next 10 years. Currently, there are nearly 450,000 open cybersecurity jobs available in the U.S., including 37,667 in California and 5,092 in the San Diego region, and demand for cyber professionals is projected to grow 32% by 2033. To ensure that communities, critical infrastructure and businesses, both big and small across the U.S. are secure, there is a distinct need for a skilled, diverse and AI savvy cybersecurity workforce.

“The San Diego region is leading the charge with more than 1,000 cyber firms, top ranked education and research institutes, and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR). This collaborative “Ecosystem in Action,” as highlighted in the White House National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy is helping seed and diversify the talent pipeline, which is critical to advancing our country’s homeland security,” said Joseph Oregon, chief of cybersecurity, Region 9, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

“The San Diego Cyber Clinic, led by Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), CSUSM, National University and SDSU is honored to be a recipient of the Google Cybersecurity Clinics Fund. Our Clinic will arm students with hands-on training and cyber career pathways, while supporting small businesses and under-resourced organizations to help grow an inclusive cyber workforce and create a more secure digital community for all,” said Lisa Easterly, president & CEO, CCOE.

The San Diego Cyber Clinic is a unique collaboration between Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), CSUSM, National University and SDSU. The only multi-institution clinic in the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics with a nonprofit industry partner leading the charge, is training students to service clients across the public and private sectors in the San Diego region. Through engagement of key industry, academic, and government stakeholders, including the city-led and U.S. Department of Homeland Security funded San Diego Regional Cyber Lab, the San Diego Cyber Clinic aims to grow an inclusive cyber workforce, increase digital security for all and serve as a model for regional collaboratives.

“The world is in a moment where emerging technologies, like AI, are creating both new opportunities and threats in the world of cybersecurity,” said Heather Adkins, VP of Security Engineering at Google. “It’s essential that we invest in growing a strong, diverse and widespread cybersecurity workforce to help protect everyone — from critical infrastructure to small businesses and schools. The 15 clinics that we’re helping to establish serve a wide variety of students across all corners of the U.S. and we’re excited to see the impact they’ll have in their local communities.”

"Google's transformative investment is catalyzing cybersecurity for the public good,” says Ann Cleaveland, co-founder and co-chair of the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics and Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. “We congratulate the recipients and applaud these awards, which propel forward the vision of the Consortium to establish a cybersecurity clinic in every U.S. state by 2030."

San Diego Cyber Clinic is one of 15 new clinics set to launch in 2024 at higher education institutions across the country, thanks to a collaboration from Google and the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics.  In addition to $1 million in funding, the tech company is offering the San Diego Cyber Clinic volunteer mentorship from Google employees, Google Titan Security Keys, and scholarships for the Google Career Certificate in Cybersecurity. Learn more on Google’s blog and the Consortium’s website.

The announcement builds on Google’s 2023 support for 10 clinics, part of a combined commitment to launch 25 Google-supported cyber clinics nationwide by 2025. With the latest round of funding, has now committed more than $25 million toward creating the diverse and AI-and digital-security savvy workforce needed to protect critical U.S. infrastructure from cyberattacks. 

Categorized As