Cybersecurity professional speaks to students via Zoom

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — As increasing numbers of individuals find themselves using computers and the internet to take classes and work from home, the importance of cybersecurity continues to grow. Students interested in this field can soon earn a degree and prepare for the profession at Penn State Greater Allegheny — beginning in the Fall of 2020, the campus will offer a four-year degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations.

On April 8, Jennifer Breese, assistant professor of information sciences and technology welcomed Faisal Abdullah, senior director of academy and cybersecurity consultant at Evolve Security, to speak to students enrolled in IST 453: Legal, Regulatory, Policy Environment of Cyber Forensics, and IST 220: Networking and Telecommunications.

In his role with Evolve Security, Abdullah helps businesses understand network vulnerability. Cybersecurity professionals can assess, test, and resolve those vulnerabilities and Abdullah shared with students that through education and training, they could gain the skills necessary to perform those roles after graduation.

He also shared the importance of learning cloud-based security features for web services such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. According to Abdullah, the technology industry will see a 7% increase in cybersecurity careers in the coming years.

Nick Trunzo, a first-year information sciences and technology student at Greater Allegheny, attended the presentation as part of his IST 220: Networking and Telecommunications course.

"The presentation was interesting," said Trunzo. "While cybersecurity isn't my major, hearing about other opportunities and the growing need for cybersecurity professionals helps shine a guiding light on the technology industry.”

Those interested in learning about the cybersecurity major can contact the admissions team at [email protected] or 412-675-9010.