Coyote Chronicle

Government features CSUSB cyber security

The CSUSB cyber security program was featured in an article on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF)website. 
CSUSB’s cyber security program aims to prepare students in occupations that protect government agencies from hackers.
“Cyber Security is an important field because it touches all aspects of modern life,” said Tony Coulson, director of the cyber security program at CSUSB. “Your personal information is your digital currency. Job growth and opportunities in this area are endless.”
This program has become available to students through funding from the NSF CyberCorps: Scholarships for Services (SFS) program.
“Cyber security is being able to create a security barrier for sites, of either private or public sectors,” said student Talisa Terrell, a computer science major. “Basically, you have to safeguard against hackers and people breaking through firewalls and having information leaks.”
According to SFS lead program director Victor Piotrowsky, cyber security offers high paying careers in a multitude of areas, including government positions.
The SFS programs facilitate the process that get students to those high paying careers in this particular field.
“CSUSB’s cyber security program does a lot of listening to the needs of the workforce, companies who hire our students, and trends,” said Coulson.
“Medical records, social security records and government records can all be found on the Internet. As we move forward with technology we have to come up with a way to protect those records,” added Terrell.
Students in the program have their tuition, books and travel expenses paid in full as well as an annual academic stipend of $20,000 for undergraduate students and $25,000 for graduate students.
The only requirement to maintain eligibility to the SFS program and their benefits is that students work for government agencies for the duration of the program.
Once their training is complete students have the opportunity to choose from various offers for full-time work.
This field of study has become increasingly important due to recent hacking events where citizens’ personal information have been at high risk.
“It is an interesting field of computer science and information technology. The more information that is put into servers the higher the need for cyber security,” added Terrell.
The program is not only aimed at teaching students the basics of public management but also techniques and services that will teach them how to protect an organization’s information system.
In 2009, CSUSB was one of 30 schools across the nation that were awarded a four-year grant by the NSF. This grant provides students the opportunity to partake in the SFS CyberCorps with all expenses paid.
This scholarship is only available for students majoring in computer science or computer engineering.
According the Department of Public Administration, CSUSB is one of six universities in California that are accredited as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.
“I was in DC this week and it was exciting to hear high praise for our students working in the area,” said Coulson. “I don’t think I will ever grow tired of hearing how ‘We need more students like the ones from CSUSB.’”

Originally published on coyotechronicle.net (November 8, 2014)

**Written collaboratively with Marion Gil (News Editor)

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