JWCC Receives Grant for Cybersecurity Courses

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QUINCY (WGEM) – More trained experts may soon be available to help protect your most personal data.

The John Wood Community College is set to receive a $15,000 grant, which officials say will be used to expand a course on meeting manufacturers’ networking needs and develop cybersecurity courses.

Acting Dean of Professional and Technical Education David Hetzler said they mention cybersecurity in their current IT courses, but don’t have a dedicated curriculum

He said the grant opens up opportunities to teach students essential skills they can take with them when they receive their licenses.

“We’ve had calls from different companies to our business and industry partner about what options we have, what kind of courses we have.” said Hetzler. “We communicated to them that we are currently working on something. And we should be able to deploy some things fairly quickly to help meet the immediate need.

He said they are still developing the curriculum for the class, but it will cover topics such as firewalls, intrusion, detection and prevention.

They hope to have some of the courses offered in the spring of 2023 and the rest offered in the fall of 2023.

Officials say it’s an essential skill to have, especially right now.

Andrew Roewe, Information Security Engineer at Adams Fiber, said the demand for cybersecurity is always there for people and it is an ever-evolving field.

He said institutions and people need to focus on preventing attacks rather than just reacting to data breaches.

“Right now a lot of companies seem to be more reactive than proactive. So they don’t look for a security guard until they’ve been hit. Then they realize ‘oh, we should have had someone with that knowledge to help us,’” Roewe said.

He says it’s important for workers to recognize the signs they might have a cybersecurity breach on their hands and that having professionals trained to recognize the signs is part of a strong defense.

JWCC officials said the board needs to agree to the grant and they plan to meet in 2-3 weeks to do so and then they will receive the money.

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