UNK plans on leading the charge in growing cyber industry

The emphasis comes after two. national cyber attacks
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 11:31 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Following the two ransomware attacks on JBS and the Colonial Pipeline the University of Nebraska-Kearney is trying to lead a charge to fill gaps left in cybersecurity in both the private and public sector.

Those two attacks shut down one of the world’s largest fuel pipelines and nearly disrupted the country’s meat supply which forced areas, such as universities, to look at how they can fill a glaring gap in an ever-changing industry.

“They need to have understanding of technology and infrastructure where they could think about building security protocol, they could think about different levels and types of offensive and defensive technology and operations,” Liaquat Hossain, the Department Chair of cyber systems at UNK, said.

UNK focuses on first through fourth year learning trying to get students to think of cybersecurity in a holistic manner to have all the tools to step in the industry and succeed and adapt.

Hossain says the salary is there, the jobs are there and the need is great. Ideally the program at UNK would like to create a talent pipeline from Nebraska to the workforce.

The program hopes to grow, according to Hossain, by teaming up with K-12 schools in the area to start students early on coding, programming and STEM courses so when they enter college they have a solid foundation of both skills and knowledge to be interested in the field and succeed.

“That’s the quality of people we are hoping to graduate, and that’s the quality of people companies are looking for, Hossain said in a UNK press release.

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