RCC cyber security program offered at Richmond County Schools

By: For the Daily Journal
Contributed photo A student reads data from her computer.

Starting this fall, Richmond Senior High School students will be able to take cyber security courses at the high school through Richmond Community College.

The Cyber Security degree from Richmond Community College covers a wide area of technology concepts. Students will learn to be the first-line of defense to combat cyber-attacks. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the skills and concepts required to understand and implement effective security controls.

Coursework includes networking technologies, operating systems administration, information policy, intrusion detection, ethical hacking, security administration, and industry best practices to protect data communications.

Upon completion of this associate in applied sciences degree, students will have tested for a variety of industry certifications, including CompTIA Security+. Richmond Community College recently added a new instructor for the Cyber Security program, Brian Goodman. He comes to Richmond Community College with more than twenty years of cybersecurity, technology, and business experience.

“One of the most common cyberattacks I dealt with in my corporate career were brute force attacks. This type of attack is used to obtain personal information such as usernames and passwords in order to perform a number of various illegal activities. The game plan was to defend against and mitigate attacks while ensuring online services remain available for legitimate users, customers, and clients”, says Goodman.

In order to defend against cyber-attacks a proactive research, planning, maintenance, and testing of code enhancements is of utmost importance in order to stay one step ahead. According to Goodman, “Maintaining ever changing cybersecurity standards was one of my day to day activities. As technology changes and new threats emerge I made sure the systems I supported conformed to Industry standards and remained secure. A typical day for me would also include at least an hour of reading up on emerging threats, new vulnerabilities, and upcoming technologies.”

“The cybersecurity job market is hot right now and it’s a very competitive field”, says Goodman. “In order to compete you have to develop a solid set of foundational skills and have a thirst for continual learning. By providing access to cybersecurity education in high school, we are giving our students a great opportunity to get an early start in a high demand field.”

Lance Barber, program coordinator for the information technology program at Richmond Community College is pleased to bring someone with such a vast knowledge-base and years of experience into the classroom. Prior to joining Richmond Community College, Goodman held an information technology security leadership role overseeing access management and fraud analytics platforms for a large Fortune 50 company. He has held a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential and holds several other IT industry certifications. Previously, Goodman served as system administrator, systems architect, director, and consultant in many diverse industries including healthcare, financial services, transportation, and telecommunications.

In addition to teaching cyber security at the high school, the program is available on campus and online through Richmond Community College.

Dr. Devon Hall, dean of applied sciences and engineering at Richmond Community College, sees the need for these skills every day.

“Look at what happened with Target in 2013”, said Hall. “Since then there have been other large and small companies that have been hit. We use our personal data every day in multiple ways and the potential for individuals to use that data to steal our identities, ruin our credit and hurt us financially is out there. We need more people with skills to combat these criminals.”

“Even outside of an information technology career, the skills taught in this curriculum are valuable to employers,” said Goodman. “Cybersecurity awareness helps reduce the chance of ransomware attacks, business email compromise, and many types of cyber fraud.”

“Big organizations employing thousands of people tend to have the resources to combat security situations like this”, Hall continued. “But smaller businesses, like standalone physician offices and small CPA firms have just as much need for protections against these attacks. They also need someone in their offices to protect their business data.”

“There’s a benefit to having this curriculum in the high school” said Hall. “This generation has never known a society without computers and mobile phones. We are instructing them on how to keep the information flowing all around them, safe.”

This summer, Goodman and Barber, along with other instructors taught a cyber security camp to 27 students ages 11 to 16. The camp was part of Richmond Community College’s summer STEAM camps program.

Additionally, Richmond Community College will hold a Cyber Security Symposium on October 15th at the Cole Auditorium. “Everyone will have to adapt to new ways of doing things,” said Barber. “This is one reason we are having our first annual, RichmondCC Cybersecurity Summit, as a part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. At this event, a panel of security experts will be available with the aim of helping our community by providing discussion, planning, and answers to citizen’s security concerns. We welcome everyone to attend.”

For those interested in the cybersecurity program or the upcoming symposium, should contact the information technology program coordinator, Lance Barber at 910-410-1911 or email [email protected]

Contributed photo A student reads data from her computer.
https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/web1_Student_ReadingData.jpgContributed photo A student reads data from her computer.

For the Daily Journal