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Hawkeye Community College launches cybersecurity program after seeing increase in attacks

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Poster image – 2021-09-28T081742.925

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - After seeing an increase in cybersecurity attacks across the nation, Hawkeye Community College has launched a brand new cybersecurity program this year.

Being a part of the school's IT track, students will now be able to specialize in cybersecurity and be equipped with skills to defend networks. According to a Clark School study at the University of Maryland, a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds.

Ever since corporations like the "New Cooperative" in Fort Dodge and school's like the Des Moines Area Community College suffer from ransomware attacks, Hawkeye's IT department has seen the demand and need rise for cybersecurity professionals.

STUDENTS WILL GET HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE IN:

  • Computer hardware
  • Desktop and server operating systems
  • Server configuration and administration
  • Network security
  • Secure VPN solutions
  • Wireless network security and administration
  • Server, host device, and network device hardening
  • Programming and scripting
  • Network attacks and countermeasures
  • Project management

Always having an interest in cybersecurity, student Josh Williams said this program is right up his alley.

"I have noticed a lot more companies are pushing for hiring cybersecurity professionals and it's becoming more and more prevalent these types of attacks," Williams said, "the more people we have out there protecting our infrastructure, is fantastic."

Initially expecting to only have ten to 12 students, IT instructor Todd Bengin said the demand has been great enough accept 20 students during the program's first year!"Super excited about this being a first-year program and having the numbers we have already," Bengin said, "so many things are considering IT nowadays and each one of those is considered a vulnerability so even though they're focusing on cybersecurity the actual path that they take to graduate there's a variety of different paths they can go down."

Cybersecurity will included in the school's two-year IT program and students will be able to earn many certifications after they graduate. Able to use the department's very  own server in their data center, student will also be under simulations where alumni or faculty will try to hack into the network and students have to defend it.

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