Posts Tagged ‘information security’

Help Wanted: Cyber Security Specialists

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Cybersecurity

Wanted: Approximately 10,000 – 20,000 young Americans with the Information Technology skills necessary to safeguard America’s massive digital computer infrastructure. Openings available for Cybersecurity Practitioners, Researchers and General “Cyber Warriors.” Positions require elite “hacking” skills, strong ability to “think outside the box,”and a keen understanding of the nation’s security systems and their vulnerabilities. Excellent starting salaries.

Okay, it’s true, we just made up that description, but it’s a fact that the need for IT specialists to defend the Internet and our nation’s communications infrastructure has never been greater, with President Obama identifying Cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges faced by our nation. It’s also true that the job market for Cybersecurity experts is wide open – by one estimate, the U.S. needs at least 20,000 such cyber-specialists, and currently has but 1,000 positions filled.

So, what exactly is a Cybersecurity Specialist? A recent article in USA Today describes the job as “a new class of tech professional specifically trained to battle data thieves, online scammers and cyberspies.”

The demand for these “cyber crime fighters” is so great that not only are schools and businesses intently focused on “cyber” training programs, but the federal government, in collaboration with education officials, military contractors and businesses have even begun sponsoring “American Idol”-like competitions, such as the U.S. Cyber Challenge, which aims to find and recruit 10,000 talented young “security warriors” through intricate “hacking” contests and other tests of security mettle.

ATE programs are at the forefront of this “cyber movement,” with specialty programs including:

CyberWatch, a consortium of Mid-Atlantic colleges focused on cybersecurity training which has grown by nearly 66 percent in each of the last two years, according to the program’s co-director, Casey O’Brien, noting, “People are starting to get that the success of these programs is absolutely critical to the future of our country.”

The Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC), which comprises five educational institutions throughout Oklahoma and major population centers in neighboring states to develop strategies to help secure cyberspace.

The Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance Cyber Defense Training Center (CSSIA), founded in 2003 partners with industry and academia to help students develop cyber-security skills.

Think about this for a minute: The vast majority of our day-to-day lives are steeped in computer data, and much of our country’s infrastructure – from banking and financial systems to energy grids to medical records to telecommunications – is reliant on computer systems. In fact, in this week’s ATETV Episode, Todd Matthews of EMC Corporation – one of the world’s largest data storage companies – commented that “More digital data will be created in the next two years than was produced in the last ten.”

Wouldn’t you want to know that all this information was safe in the hands of tomorrow’s cyber-security experts?

ATETV Episode 15: From Protecting the Environment to Protecting Data Online

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009



This week, we’re looking at three fields that are absolutely vital to our modern infrastructure. This is the stuff that has to work so the rest of us can get to work.

First, we visit the Engineering Technology program at Bristol Community College, where students can specialize in Environmental Technology – “essentially, any type of technology designed to enhance or protect our environment,” according to BCC’s Anthony Ucci. That includes working on the wastewater and freshwater treatment systems that keep our water supply clean and drinkable.

Next we head to the College of the Mainland to learn more about Process Technology – “taking material and turning it into something useful,” according to program director Jerry Duncan. Process Technology covers everything from making oil into gasoline, or malt and hops into beer. Student Zachary Bundy is doing an internship through the Process Technology program there; he considers it an extended job interview for a position after he graduates.

If Environmental and Process Technology each keep our physical infrastructure humming, then Information Security is what keeps our virtual infrastructure safe and online when we need it. That’s one of the majors offered at Springfield Technical Community College. With more data going online – including financial transactions – Information Security is a growth industry. And according to STCC’s Andrew Maynard, the sensitive nature of the information being protected means that security jobs are less likely to be outsourced than others.

Check back next week for the next episode of ATETV. Until then, have a happy new year!