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Senior Vice President & Chief Physical Security Officer, Blackstone Group L.P.
“Many organizations have inadequate data protection strategies, which, when combined with the large number of devices with access to sensitive data, and the increasing use of mobile devices to store and access sensitive data, present a challenge that becomes nearly impossible to manage… Plattsburgh’s new Center for Cybersecurity and Technology will play an important role in preparing this generation of students to manage and solve this new challenge that organizations are struggling with. Cyber security has gone from a technology based problem to the board room, not only because of the massive spending that companies deploy for prevention, but also because of the negative publicity that comes with cyber breaches, which can be crippling to a company’s reputation.”
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2017, the Center for Cybersecurity and Technology, which goes by the nickname “Hackerspace,” is a collaboration between the Management, Information Systems and Analytics (MISA) Department and Computer Science Department faculty. The center hosts cybersecurity projects and research to offer students hands-on opportunities to practice skills learned in the classroom. Students from the Cybersecurity Track in MIS and from computer security majors are interning at the center. The center conducts an outreach program to local high schools to encourage students to pursue careers in cybersecurity by engaging them in projects with their college peers. In addition, the center will become a resource for all things cyber for local businesses and non-profit organizations. A think tank of sorts, the CCT will be a “go-to” place for START-UP NY businesses to engage with our students, host internships, and get information about the technology infrastructure available in the North Country.
With the CCT, the college added the necessary hands-on, practical experience that students need in addition to classroom learning. Adding to our existing infrastructure, which includes an MIS and a computer science lab, the center will have a flexible computer network managed by the student interns. Currently, students are working on configuring firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), network monitoring, and setting up a malware analysis virtual lab. Future expansion will include digital forensics platforms to support our local law enforcement partners.
The center is dedicated to a strong relationship with the business community, to directly support and provide qualified candidates for future cyber positions in the industry. The governance of the CCT is composed of members from the business community with interest in cyber and information systems along with our cyber/information system faculty and START-UP NY representative.
Student interns have the infrastructure to experiment with security tools and “legally hack” without causing any permanent damage to a network. While experimenting and testing commercially available security tools, the center makes a commitment to open source tools development. Interns will join the Open Source community in building security tools that are freely available on the Internet.
An ethical hacker is a person who “hacks” a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent. This is usually done with prior permission from the network owner. Our students abide by the Ethical Hacker code and sign an agreement in order to work at the CCT. The code clearly prescribes that the students will only engage in legal “hacking” with prior authorization. The CCT network allows students to test security software and to make changes to firewall rules and intrusion detection systems.
If you are a SUNY Plattsburgh or a local high school student with a passion for technology and a strong desire to protect our networks from malicious hackers, the CCT might be the place for you! If you are a local business that wants to support our program, this is a great cause to help future “cyber warriors” that will protect our national infrastructure. If you are a non-profit, and you are worried about your computer network security and your data privacy, you can get free advice from the center.
If you would like more information about the Center for Cybersecurity and Technology at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:
Cristian Balan, CISSP, CHFI, ACE, Faculty Coordinator
Office: Au Sable Hall 211
Phone: (518) 569-1423