Last updated at Mon, 13 Feb 2023 17:47:25 GMT

By Raj Samani and Peter Kaes

Today marks an important day for Rapid7, for the state of Florida, and if we may be so bold, for the future of our industry. The announcement of a joint research lab between Rapid7 and the University of South Florida (USF) reaffirms our commitment to driving a deeper understanding of the challenges we face in protecting our shared digital space, while ushering in new talent to ensure that the cyber workforce of tomorrow is as diverse as the individuals who create the shared digital space we set out to protect.

With the Rapid7 Cybersecurity Foundation, we are proud to announce the opening of the Rapid7 Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab in Tampa, at USF.  We intend for the lab to be an integral component in real-time threat tracking by leveraging our extensive network of sensors, and incorporating this intelligence not only into our products and customers, but to make actionable indicators available to the wider community. This project also reaffirms our commitment to making cybersecurity more accessible to everyone through our support of research, disclosure, and open source, including projects such as Metasploit, Recog, and Velociraptor to name a few.

We believe that providing USF faculty and students this breadth of intelligence will not only support their journey in learning, but fundamentally provide a clearer path in determining areas to focus in their careers. We are hopeful that working side by side with Rapid7 analysts can help propel this journey, and enhance the meaningful research developed by the university.

As part of the commitment for this investment—and consistent with the guiding principles of the Rapid7 Cybersecurity Foundation—we intend to promote diversity within the cybersecurity workforce. In particular, we plan on opening doors to individuals from historically underrepresented groups within the cybersecurity workforce. With the objective to ensure that research projects are inclusive of those from all backgrounds, we are optimistic that not only will this introduce hands-on technical content to those who may not otherwise have such opportunities, but also, in the longer term, encourage greater diversity within the cybersecurity industry as a whole. We remain steadfast in our commitment to broadening the opportunities within cybersecurity to all those with a passion for creating a more secure and prosperous digital future.

We are deeply thankful to USF for their shared vision, and look forward to a partnership that benefits all students and faculty while producing actionable intelligence that can support the entire internet and the broader industry. Ultimately, the threatscape is such that we recognise no one organization can stop attackers on their own. This partnership remains part of our commitment to establish the relationships between private industry and partners that include academia.