National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure

Center approval from SD Board of Regents

In Executive Order 13231 (October 2001), the federal government outlined the nation's critical infrastructure. These critical infrastructure areas, generally owned by the private sector and vulnerable to attack include: banking and finance, healthcare, telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, water, transportation, and emergency services.

In the curriculum for the Master of Science degree program in Information Assurance and Computer Security, DSU has identified a specialization that addresses information assurance and computer security in the banking and finance arena. It is the University's intention to also create a National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure. The South Dakota Board of Regents gave final approval to the Dakota State University Center of Information Assurance in Banking and Finance at their regular meeting on December 12, 2003. The Board of Regents' agenda item notes the recommended action of the Executive Director and the approval of the Center.

Through the Center, DSU intends to develop partnerships with the banking and credit card industry and work collaboratively with them to identify security issues and conduct applied research to find solutions to those problems. The Center will also develop specialized workshops and seminars to meet the training needs of banking and finance professionals.

The partnerships established via the Center will foster unique internship opportunities for graduate students in the program and will ultimately provide a pool of trained information assurance professionals for banking and finance entities in the state, region and nation. The research conducted within the Center by DSU faculty and graduate students is also expected to generate economic development opportunities within the state.


The National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary organization intended to facilitate leading-edge education and research in areas related to information assurance, including information security, privacy, intellectual property protection, identity theft, computer crime and forensics, and fraud prevention and detection. The Center seeks to advance the awareness and practice of information assurance and to facilitate best practices in information assurance planning, policy, ethics, law, and technology, particularly as those issues relate to banking and finance.

Securing both business and personal data is one of the emerging challenges of the electronic age. The business community and world at large are becoming increasingly dependent upon digital communications with sophisticated networks, resulting in heightened vulnerabilities. The National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure is expected to be a collaborative initiative between business, government, and academic researchers. It is intended to address the major security, privacy, and fraud issues within the technical, business, legal and policy contexts of banking and finance through both education and research. The Center embodies the University's fundamental mission to advance human knowledge through research and education and to apply that knowledge in matters of crucial importance in banking and finance.


  1. Increase corporate and public awareness of information assurance issues in banking and finance.
  2. Establish corporate, government and academic partnerships to enhance the institution's education in information assurance in banking and finance. This includes development of internship programs through which students can gain experience in the finance and banking industry.
  3. Work collaboratively with corporate, government and academic partners to carry out research to develop inter-disciplinary solutions that can be used to resolve information assurance and computer security issues in banking and finance.


The Center will be organized with these primary functions:

  • Information assurance and computer security seminar and workshop training for the banking and finance industry
  • Support services and technical assistance in information assurance
  • Information dissemination using web-based distribution
  • Applied research for government, corporate and academic partners in the area of information assurance and computer security

To guide the Center's educational and research programs, an advisory board has been established. The board includes representatives from corporate banking, governmental and quasi-governmental regulatory agencies, electronic retailers and advocacy groups within the banking and finance industry. Dr. Streff runs the Center and can be reached at 605.256.5077.

Last Updated: 7/31/12