On the Cutting Edge of Cybersecurity

A headshot of Shakour Abuzneid
Shakour Abuzneid

Shakour Abuzneid, Professor and Director of Cybersecurity and Networking

Cybersecurity & Networking

With a growing demand for Cybersecurity experts, Shakour Abuzneid, the new Director of Cybersecurity and Networking at RWU, says he’s ready to build on an already solid program.  

“I’m fortunate to join Roger Williams. It’s a great university,” said Abuzneid, a recognized engineering, cybersecurity, and computer science expert with more than 25 years of experience. “I’m looking forward to building the program and making it one of the best Cybersecurity programs in the nation.”  

RWU’s B.S. in Cybersecurity & Networking, which is validated by the National Security Agency (NSA), is designed to meet the increasing professional needs of the Cybersecurity and Cyberdefense industries. The university also offers an M.S. in Cybersecurity, which teaches the technical skills, situational management, and problem solving needed for careers in information security, as well as an M.A. in Cybersecurity, for working professionals to understand the intersections of Cybersecurity with their work.  

Prior to joining RWU, Abuzneid served as the director of the cybersecurity program and a professor of computer science and cybersecurity at St. Cloud State University. He previously held leadership positions at the University of Bridgeport including as the director of Systems and Engineering Laboratories, and he is the founder and director of the university’s Emerging Communications Technologies Center.  

He received a B.S. in engineering with honors in Computer and Control Engineering from Yarmouk University, an M.S. in Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering, both from the University of Bridgeport. He’s published more than 60 refereed journal and conference papers and book chapters in interdisciplinary areas.  

His expertise includes the fields of computer science and engineering, computer communications, networks, computer and network security, cybersecurity, wireless and mobile communications, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). His current research interests are IoT design, wireless sensor networks, cloud security, wireless/mobile communications, sensor-based distributed control schemes, and intrusion detection systems using machine learning.  

In his new role at RWU, Abuzneid will bring his expertise – particularly in cloud computing and IoT – and will keep the curriculum up to date on the latest technology trends.  

“I believe in integrating what the industry needs with the curriculum. We should be after the technology trends to place our students in a good position when they graduate and enter the labor market. We will not overlook the foundational education; students will be well-versed in both theory and practice.” 

Partnering with other RWU programs such as Computer Science, Criminal Justice, and Forensic Science will add more interdisciplinarity to the Cybersecurity & Networking curriculum and help develop “a one-of-a-kind unique program,” he added.  

According to Abuzneid, Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing and trending technologies, and the U.S. will need tens of thousands of cybersecurity professionals every year. In 2021, more than 40 million U.S. consumers fell victim to identity theft, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Many companies and organizations already have or are hiring Cybersecurity teams.  

“As the whole world moves toward cyber business and education, securing data, privacy, and infrastructure is going to be paramount day by day,” he said. “Eventually, everything will be connected to the internet, including medical devices that we use at home.”