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Coastal Bend College nearing completion on their new cyber security lab

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Aug 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-10 21:53:35-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Cyber attacks are on the rise. Anyone can fall victim to a hacker, but not everyone can stop it. That's why Coastal Bend College (CBC) is looking to build up a cyber security fighting force.

"This is where we’re going: cyber security. The government is getting hacked, hospitals are getting hacked and we’re losing billions of dollars," Associate Professor for Computer Information Technology at CBC Dr.Rodney Donovan said.

All four CBC locations will have their own cyber security lab. The program will train students to become white hat hackers, which are ethical hackers who work with companies to prevent others from doing harm.

"There are people that hire for these positions remotely, so we can train someone with a quality program, keep them local, which is exactly what state and local officials want," President of CBC Dr. Justin Hoggard said.

Students who complete the program will earn a certificate in cyber security. With that certificate, they can apply for jobs like a computer technician, system administrator and network specialist. Students will also get a hands-on experience securing their own PC’s, taking them apart, and even competing with the other CBC locations in a practice they call cyber attack wars.

"Kingsville will go against Beeville or Alice, and Alice will go against Pleasanton and Kingsville. While you’re trying to enter one location, another location may be trying to penetrate your server," Dean of Career and Technical Education Jarod Bleibdrey said.

The professor, dean and president said that although the program won’t be easy, it will be rewarding.

"We are building guardians of the cyber network in this program. So if you want to fight evil, this is where you come," Bleibdrey said.

CBC is hoping to have the cyber security program ready by spring of 2024, but students can enroll now to start taking pre-requisites to apply. You don't just need the shield when your'e in battle, the sword is just as important.