Around the world, computer hackers are getting more sophisticated. From the “Flame” spyware to common viruses, worms and malware, the number of ways that hackers can breach a computer network is expanding exponentially.
In 2011, the number of malicious cyber-attacks increased 81 percent over 2010, according to Symantec, an international computer security firm.
The growing number of attacks — as well as the increasing sophistication of the malware — has U.S. officials worried. They’re concerned that the nation’s colleges and universities are not producing enough cybersecurity professionals to protect the country’s computer networks. To focus on educating the next generation workforce, several federal government agencies, along with experts from academia and industry, formed the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE).
Each year, members of the Colloquium — including representatives from the federal government and colleges and universities around the country — meet to discuss their progress. This week, 387 members of the Colloquium are meeting in Lake Buena Vista — a record high attendance for the conference. Valencia College is the host of the meeting.
Among the speakers at this year’s event are: Dr. Deborah Frincke, deputy director of research at the National Security Agency; Dr. Ernest McDuffie of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is the principal agency for the White House’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program; and Debora Plunkett, director of information assurance at NSA.
The National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have designated Valencia College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education for the years 2012-2017. On Monday, Valencia College president Sandy Shugart accepted the award, along with Dr. Gaby Hawat, special assistant to the president and senior executive for strategic initiatives and economic development; Dr. Nasser Hedayat, vice president of career and workforce education; Dr. Wael Yousif, program chair for the computer engineering technology division; and Angel Melendez, laboratory manager and professor, computer engineering technology.
The Colloquium continues through Wednesday, June 13, at the Royal Plaza Hotel, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, Fl.
For more information on the Colloquium or to register, click here.