TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Local

NSU promotes Cyber Security Month

Published 10/25/17

Trista Vaughn

TNE Writer

Throughout the month of October, the NSU department of criminology, justice studies and global security is taking part in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's annual campaign, National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

“NCSAM is an annual campaign to raise awareness with the general public on all matters involving the protection of data and how each of us has an obligation to use digital resources in a responsible manner,” said Gary Long, NSU professor of cyber security. “I’ve been a professional in this field for the past 22 years, and we originally termed cyber security as  ‘information security,’ which encompassed a variety of topics, including access control, governance and risk management, cryptography, and disaster recovery.”  

Information Technology Services will offer cyber security courses on all three campuses. The classes will cover essential skills every student needs to practice daily. The classes are free and open to everyone.

“The courses will provide knowledge necessary to detect and deal with threats and attacks, whereby hackers are attempting to steal one’s identity and use that information for nefarious purposes,” said Long. “Additionally, students and faculty can become aware of cyber security careers and opportunities. Today, there is a vast shortage of cyber security professionals available to the marketplace, and there are predictions of a 1.8 million worker shortfall by 2022.  Typically, these positions are highly-paid in some very attractive locations across the globe.”

The NSU cyber security page mission statement states, “We prepare cyber security professionals to deter, detect, contain and investigate unauthorized use of computer networks. In addition, the cyber security program seeks to provide excellence in teaching, research, service and community development.”

“I have just recently declared my major to cyber security and I’m very excited about furthering my career in cyber security,” said Cody Howard, Muskogee senior. “One of the reasons why I chose this major was because of the job opportunities it has to offer. Cyber security has been growing throughout the years.”

It is important for students and faculty to be knowledgeable about what cyber security is.

“Being members of the NSU digital ecosystem, we all have the responsibility to protect our identities, the identities of others and NSU data and reputation,” said Long. “Knowledge of cyber security provides the basic concepts and ‘gotchas’ about how NSU and other online resources can and should be utilized, including protection and changing of passwords, secure use of social media, identifying threats, benefits of second forms of authentication and responding to incidents.”

Long also said phishing attacks are the No. 1 cause of ransomware and malware, and knowledge of cyber security can assist with identifying these attacks and knowing when a link within an email is safe.

“Cyber security hasn’t ever been a big deal to me,” said Sarah Loy, Kellyville junior. “Until I read an email from ITS that said there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers by 2022. That has made me reconsider my major.”

For more information about cyber security month, email Nicole Bennefel, NSU technology trainer, at or Jamie Stocks, client services director, at


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