DSU joins new SD Cybercrime Prevention Consortium

Cyber threats and challenges are a normal part of today’s digital landscape. Addressing them requires a dedicated effort from everyone in society, including governmental agencies and academic institutions.

A new consortium between Dakota State University (DSU), the South Dakota Fusion Center (SDFC), and the state Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) will blend their capabilities to effect cybercrime prevention, intelligence, digital forensics, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) operations.

“As cybercriminals increasingly target our local governments and essential services, the South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium is critical for South Dakota,” said Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Vice President for Research & Economic Development. “This partnership strengthens our defense against those who threaten our security and daily life. Together, we are building a safer, more secure future for every citizen in our state.”

The South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium will capitalize on the purpose and strengths of each entity. DSU brings its academic and research capabilities, particularly with cybersecurity and digital forensics. The SDFC will serve as a sentinel to guard against cyber threats and ensure the digital safety of the region, with a focus on intelligence and cyber intelligence.

“The South Dakota Fusion Center is excited to join a partnership of experts in the field of cyber security to protect and provide leadership for the entire state in cyber security,” said Paul Niedringhaus, director of the SDFC, which is an agency of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

BIT brings its expertise at protecting the state against cyber threats and ensuring its digital safety, with a focus on cyber threat prevention.

“South Dakota State Government prioritizes efficient and secure services to our citizens through technology, and as such, we are not immune to the evolving cyber threats that plague our interconnected world. Joining this Cybercrime Prevention Consortium amplifies our capabilities by pooling knowledge, resources, and expertise from across sectors,” said Miguel Penaranda, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer. “This collaboration is essential for staying ahead of sophisticated cybercriminals, safeguarding our state’s digital assets, and ensuring the resilience of our critical infrastructure. By working together, we can create a stronger, more secure digital environment for all South Dakotans.”

The Consortium’s objectives are to work together on proactive measures like research that will prevent cyber threats, collaborate on investigations by optimizing resources and expertise. The group will also work to gather and analyze OSINT, and mitigate the risk of cyber threats by engaging in security assessments and analyzing cyberattacks against government resources.

The DSU Applied Research building, currently under construction in Sioux Falls, will house the consortium.