about us

A Brief Overview of the History of the Center

The Security and Assurance in Information Technology (SAIT) Laboratory was established in 1999 by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Florida State University (FSU), with a $125,000 grant and space for three laboratories in the same building that houses the FSU Computer Science Building, in response to Presidential Decision Directive 63 which calls for a comprehensive national effort to address the information security problem, including private-public partnerships, and increased education, training, research, and development.

The function of SAIT is to provide an environment that fosters applied research in security technology, and facilities for research and graduate level teaching in IA allowing. SAIT helped establish FSU as an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) in 2002, SAIT helped establish FSU as and an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R) in 2009.
FSU has been re-designated several times, most recently by NSA/DHS as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) and a Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R), until 2024.

To ensure the future success of SAIT, in August 2008 the Computer Science (CS) Department established the Florida State University Center for Security and Assurance in IT, C-SAIT. The mission, goals and scope of C-SAIT are those of SAIT, but the Center has not only gained University-wide recognition, but also set the foundation for more opportunities that will assist in the proccss of fulfilling its true potential and ensure its mission for years to come.

Mission Statement

The mission of C-SAIT is to serve as a focal point for members of different academic disciplines, government, and industry to carry out world-class research and to advance the practice and public awareness of information technology security and assurance through education and public service. The focus of C-SAIT is on innovation and learning. The primary research function of the Center is to provide an environment to fosteTo ensr world-class, applied research in information security technology. The Center provides facilities that are used for research and graduate level teaching in security and information assurance.

Corporate Sponsorship

The C-SAIT Corporate Sponsorship Program fosters mutually beneficial, long-term relationships among our sponsors, faculty and students. Among other benefits, our sponsors enjoy high visibility within the C-SAIT community and C-SAIT faculty and students benefit from resources and expertise provided by the sponsor community.


C-SAIT has a wealth of knowledge in security and assurance. With existing projects in, for example, Network and Wireless Security, Security and Privacy in Databases and Data Management, Query processing and indexing in large Databases, Intrusion Detection, Protocol Security, Secure Software, RFID Security, and Electronic Voting, the Center is on sound research footing. The added multi-disciplinary interactions with the FSU Departments of Mathematics, Information Management Systems, Communications, and Information Studies and the School of Criminology, the FAMU/FSU Department of Electrical Engineering, and the FSU Law School brings breadth in understanding of the technological and practical perspectives of information security in the Internet Age.


C-SAIT has provided an unprecedented program to train and educate students in Information Assurance (IA) at FSU. Inter-disciplinary cooperation deepens the understanding of the technological and practical perspectives of information security in the Internet age. The Center regularly collaborates with FSU departments and colleges including Mathematics, Communication, Criminology, Engineering, Information, Law, as well as the FAMU Computer & Information Sciences Department and Tallahassee Community College.

As of 2002, the Center was awarded more than 100 cybersecurity scholarships, funded by NSF and DoD. In addition, the research efforts of seven doctoral students and one post-doctoral student have been supported by cybersecurity grants. The Center will continue to pursue standards of excellence in education by recruiting and retaining outstanding undergraduate students.

The diverse faculty has expertise ranging from the security of information to the proactive approach of detecting and preventing cyber crime. During a time in which individuals, businesses, governments and even the world economy are increasingly dependent on emerging technologies, the C-SAIT faculty is unique in its ability to train future professionals in IA. In addition, the faculty has spearheaded a strong outreach program. While this effort has had a local focus, faculty members have extended their outreach to the national and international cybersecurity communities. The Center organized six workshops and summer schools on the FSU campus. The Center was also responsible for organizing workshops throughout the country focusing on topics like cyber security and cyber terrorism, public key cryptography, and critical infrastructure protection. C-SAIT also hosted a workshop on the security of Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks and Sensors (MADNES 05) in Singapore, sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office.

Collaborative research with industry and academia has been and will continue to be a priority of the program. The Center has already established a corporate sponsorship program with such industry giants as Hoshida Corp., Raytheon, and Datamaxx, and is on sound research footing with over $12 M by NSF and DoD in funding for existing projects in:

  • Security Protocols
  • Wireless Security
  • RFID Security
  • Electronic Voting
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Secure Software
  • Secure UAV

as well as educational tools for Cyber Defense, Malware Analysis and Reversing Binaries, By obtaining funding for current and future such projects, C-SAIT expands existing resources and facilities. Prompted by the FSU Quantum Initiative (April 2023) the CS Department has initiated two new projects:

  • Quantum AI and Security, and
  • Post-Quantum Cryptography

The first addresses the current data-driven end-to-end learning paradigm for AI technologies to find efficient and effective solutions that are secure against adverarial attacks with quantum computers. The second addresses the need to replace curent public-key security algorithms that are vulnerable to quantum computer attacks. The National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) announced in 2023 a first list of selected quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms and published a timetable to standarise algorithms that resist attacks from quantume computers. As post-quantum cryptography algorithms are much more complex and computationally expensive, there are many emerging issues that need to be addressed.

C-SAIT has a long history of inter-collegiate collaboration. National partner schools include Iowa State University, the University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University and Purdue University. International partners include, the University of Calgary, Carlton University (Ottawa), Ecole Normal Superieur (Paris), La Sapienza (Rome), the Ionian University (Corfu), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) a, Tsukuba University (Tokyo) Universita de Malaga (ETS Ingenieria Informatica), and the University of La Laguna (Tenerife).

In the local community, C-SAIT has a strong track record of outreach highlighted by the creation of an annual cybersecurity summer school. In 2003, the Center joined forces with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), a historically black college also located in Tallahassee to establish an IA education program at FAMU. The Center shares faculty, curriculum and facilities in order to reach a more diverse group of students. Participation in this alliance provides C-SAIT affiliates at FAMU access to security experts, interaction with center sponsors, and early access to research findings.

SAIT Logo FSU Logo