HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — With the growing threat of cyber-attacks, local groups, businesses and school districts can now expect more help in protecting themselves.

Google announced Friday it’s giving $500,000 to the Rochester Institute of Technology so the school can send more students out into the community to strengthen cybersecurity.

RIT has been offering this service for two years, but this grant will allow them to offer up more students to protect data.

The money is coming from Google’s charity and it’s part of a $20 million effort to strengthen digital systems across the country.

Right now, they’re looking to fund preexisting cybersecurity clinics, which function like free clinics at law schools and medical schools.

Places like non-profits and school districts that can’t afford a private firm can get help from students who, in turn, get real world experience.

Google says part of the reason they’re sending money RIT’s way is because of their clinic’s work with a local school district.

“That school district said that the penetration testing the students gave was of the most exceptional services that they had ever received from a cybersecurity organization,” said Maab Ibrahim, Google.org’s Cybersecurity Lead.

Ibrahim says RIT students can also connect with Google employees to learn more about cybersecurity.

Congressman Joe Morelle, a Democrat, applauded the partnership.

“This is a win-win,” Morelle said. “We’ll get more students here and we’ll be able to fill the very serious gap in the number of jobs that are vacant, so this the marriage of two great institutions.”

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