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Iowa Central looks to the future

New Cyber Security Club gives students real-world experience thwarting online threats

Robbers traditionally had to go somewhere, often wearing a mask and packing a gun, in order to steal some money.

Now, a new breed of bandits can help themselves to someone else’s money with a few keystrokes on a computer.

Stopping these cyber crooks requires a new set of security skills. Those skills can be learned at Iowa Central Community College.

Now the college’s students are going one step further, forming a club in which they’ll face off against like-minded students in cyber security competitions. They’ll get real-world experience stopping hackers and thwarting other online threats.

Some of those students have been participating in the competitions already, but the newly formed Cyber Security Club gives them a more formal and organized way to do so. The students successfully petitioned the school’s Board of Directors for permission to start the club.

The scenarios the club members will face at the various competitions will provide “real life job experience,” according to Tom Beneke, the college’s vice president of enrollment management and student development.

“Anytime you can give students real life experience in their chosen field, there’s true value in that,” Beneke said.

The young men and women who master this type of security will be the people who defend our nation from the nefarious cyber doings of hostile nations and terrorist groups. They’ll also be the people who prevent online robbers from cleaning out the bank accounts of unsuspecting Americans.

We thank those young people in advance for the crucial service they will provide to all of us. We also credit them for having the initiative to work through the process of establishing a new organization on the Iowa Central campus.

Thanks are also in order for the college’s administration and board for working with the students to make this new group a reality.

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