Highlands College training cybersecurity professionals of the future | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

BUTTE — Cyber crime is becoming so prevalent that you could be on your computer and somebody can gain access to your personal information, your bank account—they could even be watching you live on a webcam. That’s why it’s important to have cybersecurity, and Montana Tech at Highlands College is training the future watchdogs of the cyber world.

“The bigger you are the bigger target you are, but I mean, everyone’s a target. It’s a matter of when it’s going to happen, not if it’s going to happen,” said cybersecurity student Tyce Erickson.

Some of the students in the program headed by Jim Freebourn have personal reasons for going into cybersecurity.

“I saw my grandparents becoming vulnerable to attacks even over the phone, they get a call on their landline. I wanted to be somebody that could be the good actor in a situation where there are so many bad actors,” said student Shelby Philipps.

The Butte School District is investigating possible bad actors in a suspected hack that has forced it to shut down the computer network to all its schools. Some suspect it could be a ransomware attack, in which the district’s data is being held unless payment is made.

“It’s literally dealing with a criminal who has done an illegal act motivated by money, so there’s kind of no end to what they may try and do,” said Kenneth Curran.

Students learn that hackers can get sensitive information by “phishing” or getting people to clink on a link that lets someone enter the computer system. People are warned to scrutinize any links they get through email.

It’s important for institutions large and small to make sure their networks are secure if they wish to keep their data safe.

“I mean, you wouldn’t drive over a bridge that you wouldn’t trust, would you? No. So make sure your bridges are made of concrete and that’s the biggest thing,” said student Garrett Pruttis.


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National Cyber Security