Cybersecurity - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Cybersecurity experts in demand

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Chances are, those security breaches that affected major retailers are still fresh on our minds.

Now, consumers and companies are coming up with new ways to protect themselves online.

A cybersecurity event called DakotaCon is taking aim at college students.

It's a real world exercise. Each college team or "IT team" goes in and secures a network from outside use. A group of "hackers" are on hand trying to break the team's security breach.

Students from around the region are getting a taste of what it's like to be attacked by real hackers. They're taking this experience and applying it to their future careers to protect your information.

The need for cybersecurity hasn't been around for long. Today, most companies rely on technology for success. So these students are learning how to make that happen safely.

"Basically any type of business that has any sort of private information inside of a computer is looking for these sorts of students who know how to protect and defend them," said Kyle Cronin, DSU Information Assurance Instructor.

One Computer Science senior at Dakota State University, Jesse Mendez, is on the cutting edge of cybersecurity.

To help consumers stay safe on the Internet, he has this analogy.

"Everybody that comes by your house and they say 'hey I'm here to patch your roof.' Are you really going to let them in your house or you going to ask to see their business card? That's kind of the same mindset you have to take on the Internet now," said Mendez.

"You have to keep a keen eye and use some responsibility when you're online because you never know when an attacker might be waiting for you to click on a link and download something malicious onto your computer," said Cronin.

With graduation in sight, Mendez has his eyes set on the future.

"After college I hope to be able to write software and utilities -- help make the world a little safer for everybody," said Mendez.

Cybersecurity has taken off in the past few years and these students are the future of protecting our country's companies.


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