SUNY Canton Cybersecurity Faculty Member Lands $256,000 NSF Grant


A SUNY Canton faculty member has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help curb cybercrime.

Associate Professor Kambiz Ghazinour, Ph.D., currently serves as part-time CEO of the company CyberSpara, Inc. The company is in the process of developing a game-based learning platform that teaches individuals to mitigate security threats online. Development costs for the project have now been offset by a $256,000 NSF Small Business Technology Transfer grant.

Professor Kambiz Ghazinour teaches in the Cybersecurity classroom.

“Phase one of this project is to develop an effective, engaging education platform to teach cybersecurity awareness and best practices to protect against cyber threats,” Ghazinour said. “Identity theft affects millions of individuals every year, costing billions of dollars and severe personal difficulties to those affected.”

The digital security and privacy education startup has been working through the SUNY Research Foundation and has established itself as one of five finalists in Griffiss Institute’s Helping Upstate Science Technology Leaders and Entrepreneurs (HUSTLE) accelerator. As part of the competitive arrangement, the company has placed a SUNY Canton Cybersecurity Intern Kyle Meagher at Griffiss Technology Complex in Rome.

“Kyle is our liaison designated to study the U.S. Department of Defense and how we can adapt our product to the needs of the military,” Ghazinour said. “As part of the NSF grant, CyberSpara will award SUNY Canton more than $76,000 to fund faculty members and student research and development efforts.”

CyberSpara’s Digital-Privacy and Security Simulation is an educational program that uses gamification principles to educate Internet users on common privacy and security vulnerabilities encountered on social media platforms.  Ghazinour is named as the inventor on the patent filed for this platform.

The SUNY Canton’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program is one of several in-demand offerings available through the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. It is available in both in-person and fully online formats.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.