Northeast Ohio college trains students to fight cybersecurity threats as cyber attacks increase

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - First, there was a cyber attack on a major American pipeline.

Then this week, we learned criminals hit the world’s largest meat supplier, based in the United States and Australia.

Ransomware attacks happen all the time and they may be increasing.

Hackers threaten to sell sensitive information on the dark web unless companies or governments pay millions in ransom.

Our infrastructure is at risk, from oil and gas to our food supply line.

Even our local city halls and police departments are not immune.

Could the frontlines of fighting cybersecurity threats be right here in northeast Ohio?

19 Investigates found future experts are training locally to fight the problem.

“They’re hitting you at home where the money counts right? Those things are on the rise right now,” said Sharee Dorsey, a cybersecurity specialist and adjunct professor at Notre Dame College in South Euclid.

Dorsey is a part of their new Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, which includes a cybersecurity lab and Situation Room.

“We’re focused on compliance and policy, along with forensics, threat intelligence. These are just some of the things that you’re just not going to get in every cyber security program,” she said.

Demand is up for people with these skills as we see more cyber attacks.

“No one’s safe anymore. I think 10 years ago, everyone thought, it’s if you’re a bigger company and you’re making lots of money. But what we’ve learned over the years is that smaller clinics are getting attacked. Smaller companies are getting attacked,” Dorsey said.

That’s where these students will come in.

They are training for future careers in information technology, law enforcement and a number of industries including health care where keeping private information secure is essential.

Their undergraduate majors include Cybersecurity, Intelligence Studies and Emergency Management Policy.

“It’s about protecting people, protecting information no matter what industry you’re in,” Dorsey said.

This local program launched just as President Biden announced an executive order to beef up cybersecurity nationwide in light of these cyber attacks.

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