Project Xander, supported by the CIAS Cyber Clinic, is an initiative pioneered by San Antonio cyber leaders to overcome the rise of cybercrime in the form of ransomware attacks and identity theft impacting local communities.
Project Xander and the CIAS Cyber Clinic together offer students the opportunity to obtain real-world cybersecurity experience while helping community organizations to secure their cyber infrastructures.
The increase in cyber-attacks in 2022 cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars over the past five years. Despite the need for more cybersecurity professionals, the number of open positions continues to grow.
Through public-private-academia partnerships, the UTSA/CIAS Cyber Clinic is using the Project Xander program to provide free security services in the same way law or medical schools offer free clinics in their communities. This provides students the opportunity to learn and improve their skills, while helping to protect critical infrastructure, small businesses and non-profit organizations.
Project Xander is a collaborative effort that includes cyber professionals from FFRDC, federal government, local government, universities and industry. These partnerships serve as mentors to teams of university students performing cyber assessments to protect organizations against cyber threats.
Project Xander takes a holistic approach to helping whole communities become more secure. Students participating in this initiative gain hands-on experience assessing cybersecurity risk for under resourced organizations, including nonprofits, small businesses and local governments, while receiving mentorship from local cybersecurity professionals. Through a series of courses, students learn to assess an organization’s security controls, plans and policies, as well as perform penetration testing, wireless scans and phishing tests.
Nonprofits and Small Businesses receive cyber posture analysis of their environment, implementation, plan, and tools.
Students gain valuable experience in experiments addressing real world problems.
Policymakers and government oversight organizations adopt and implement appropriate cybersecurity models and frameworks.
Organizations within local communities also benefit by becoming more cyber aware and secure. As a result, local government can help develop appropriate frameworks for organizations within their communities.
Support or Request Project Xander Services
Criteria to Request Services
Project Xander supports local nonprofits, small businesses and local government entities.
Criteria to Volunteer
Although Project Xander was established at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and is currently available to any student enrolled at UTSA, additional opportunities in high schools, community colleges and universities nationwide are coming soon.
Apply to Volunteer
UTSA students must be enrolled in one of the university’s cybersecurity clinic classes.
Students – 116
Nonprofits – 22
Organizations – 2
Mentors – 19
Students – 149
Nonprofits – 27
Organizations – 2
Mentors – 24
Students – 254
Nonprofits – 32
Organizations – 8
Mentors – 19