With over 300 people in attendance, Emporia State University was able to showcase its new cybersecurity program and delve into the broad topic of cybersecurity with a special conference Wednesday.
The inaugural CyBERCON event welcomed hundreds of residents, high school and Emporia State University students to the memorial union’s Webb Hall for a day of information and conversation with leading experts in the field of cyber security. This included cybersecurity director for Networks Plus and Blue Valley Technologies Jerry Horton, an expert in ethical hacking.
While speaking with Horton, KVOE noted it is uncommon to hear the words ethical and hacking spoken in the same sentence. Horton agreed and later explained that ethical hacking involves the same techniques used by cybercriminals but for a much different purpose.
Horton added that many people and businesses alike do not fully comprehend the benefits of ethical hacking saying that many believe they would never be the target of a cyber criminal. In today’s age where everyone lives and, in some cases, works online “everyone is a target.”
ESU Cybersecurity Research and Outreach Center (CYROC) Director Leticia Rust says dispelling assumptions such as this is a major goal for ESU and its cybersecurity program. She says the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals is great at this time and it will likely remain so for the foreseeable future thanks to the continuous evolution of technology and cybercrime.
Wednesday’s conference was just the first of many planned outreach programs through CYROC according to Rust and comes nearly a year after the university announced its plans to expand the cybersecurity program, including the construction of the CYROC center, as part of the reinvestment for the future initiative. If you would like more information on the cybersecurity program or upcoming events visit Emporia.edu or contact rust by emailing Lrust1@emporia.edu.