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Stetson Announces New Cybersecurity Program

Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime in the United States, and they are increasing in size, sophistication and cost. Cybersecurity expenditures are also increasing at a rapid pace as the rise of cybercrime continues to accelerate around the world, increasing the need for a cybersecurity workforce.

Stetson University is responding to the cybersecurity industry’s staffing needs by providing students with an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity when the program launches in fall 2019.

Students will learn skills that are necessary for becoming a cybersecurity professional with its eight-course curriculum. The program is currently accepting students for the beginning of the academic year in August.

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Daniel Plante, Ph.D.

“Cybersecurity is a big issue that we face every day and it’s a growing concern,” said Daniel Plante, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science at Stetson. “We have an outstanding computer science program that has 10 years of auditing experience at Stetson through our computer and network security class, so we already have some momentum in starting the new cybersecurity program. We’re also auditing partnering companies and are trying to expand that initiative. We believe we will be offering a cybersecurity degree that stands out and is distinctive and provides computer science students with learning opportunities that will be difficult to find at other institutions.”

During the fall, Joshua Eckroth, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at Stetson, will be teaching Introduction to Cybersecurity, which requires one computer science prerequisite or prior programming experience. The course will provide an overview of the broad range of issues, techniques, people, organizations and recent news related to cybersecurity and explains the ways in which cybersecurity impacts individuals, organizations and states along with covering U.S. and international laws. The class also provides students with information about various professions that are connected to cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity program will provide students with one-on-one opportunities in the classroom.

Joshua Eckroth, Ph.D.

“We think it’s necessary to focus closely on the student,” said Eckroth. “At Stetson, the cybersecurity program will have attentive, smaller classes and provide a hands-on experience for students.”

Higher-level cybersecurity courses may be offered during the spring 2020 semester and will provide students with information about secure coding, computer exploits or attacks, discovering and fixing flaws, applied cryptography, computer and network security, digital forensics, system administration and cloud computing.

Students will receive invaluable knowledge from the cybersecurity program, including information about ethical and corrupt hacking.

“You need cybersecurity professionals on the white hat or ethical side of hacking who are acting just the same as the black hat or malicious hacker, but are authorized,” said Eckroth. “The black hat hackers will sell your information when they find it. We want to teach students ways to stay ahead of the black hat hackers and kind of beat them at their own game. Do what they do, but do it better.

“Cybersecurity is becoming one of the most important things to deal with as a society,” said Eckroth. “We’re all integrated into the Internet one way or another and we all depend on these systems to work properly. Our data is out there, and it’s up to all of us to protect it.”

-Sandra Carr

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