ST. CLOUD -- To help prepare the next generation of information systems workers, St. Cloud State University is expanding their cybersecurity curriculum.

St. Cloud State just received a grant of about $277,000 for the expansion of the Center of Academic Excellence-Cybersecurity Education Programs. The funding is from the National Security Agency.

Dennis Guster is a Professor of Information Systems and the Director of Business Computing Research Laboratory at SCSU. Guster says the grant will allow the university to offer three quantum information system courses.

"There are three courses, the first one is a survey class, a little bit of an overview of the major concepts within quantum computing and quantum communication, such as superposition. The second one is the theory class, and there's a lot of mathematics in it. The third one is going to be specifically in the area of cyber quantum encryption."

Guster says encryption is one of the most recognized forms of fighting cyber-threats...

"Because people are worried that a quantum computer could break existing encoded data. There's an algorithm called RSA and it basically uses a large factored number for the keys which now takes years to break on a classical computer but with a quantum computer, it's possible to break them in a matter of seconds."

Guster says a quantum computer is going to be more advanced than your typical personal computer and have the ability to transfer information faster.

To start, Guster says all three courses will be offered solely online but looking ahead, the university would like to utilize the ISELF building as the program develops. Right now ISELF is being used for quantum communication research.

"We're trying to develop single photon emitters and detectors. We're implementing a simulation of a quantum algorithm called BB84, which basically shows how you can do quantum communication, securely and also detect eavesdroppers, so we've got some lasers that we can use to detect that stuff. There's actually a room in ISELF that's dedicated to that."

The first quantum information systems course will be offered this summer. However, all three courses will be available this fall. If you're interested in taking a course follow the link below.