SPRINGFIELD (Heartland Newsfeed) — This spring, Lincoln Land Community College’s computer networking faculty will be hosting two workshops on cybersecurity. These events will take place on the LLCC Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road, and are free and open to the public.

The Security Awareness Day program will be held Feb. 10, 1-2 p.m. in Logan Hall Room 1133. LLCC instructors will be presenting ways to secure your computer from viruses and discussing current cyberattacks. Attendees will learn how to protect themselves from outside hackers.

On May 1, from 6-7 p.m., LLCC instructors will present “Is Your Wireless Safe?” also in Logan Hall Room 1133. They will share tips on how to protect home wireless systems and discuss safety when out using the public Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop.

“As the number of internet and mobile users grows, so does the opportunity for cybercrimes,” explains Jeff Mehan, LLCC professor, computer networking. “It’s important to learn how to protect your information. Cybersecurity is the means of protecting data, networks, programs and other information from unauthorized or unintended access, destruction or change.”

LLCC will also offer a new cybersecurity certificate program beginning this fall. The certificate program can be applied to an associate degree and is designed for students who wish to enter the workforce as cybersecurity professionals. Students will explore attacks against networks and computer systems along with necessary defense mechanisms, such as end user tools, tips and techniques to counter attackers. Hands-on projects, competitions and case studies will be used to master the cybersecurity concepts.

“The cybersecurity certificate program will be offered in traditional semester courses,” adds Mehan. “However, competency based education, or CBE, is also being developed with the certificate. The CBE approach will allow students to advance based on their ability to master a skill or competency at their own pace. This method is tailored to meet different learning abilities and can lead to more efficient student outcomes.”

LLCC joined forces with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations and Cyber Defense to design a cybersecurity program of study. The NSA and CAE support the President’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) which furthers the goal to broaden the pool of skilled workers capable of supporting a cyber secure nation.

To register for workshops and learn more about LLCC’s cybersecurity program, please visit the LLCC Cyber Center webpage at www.llcc.edu/cyber-center.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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