Extending cybersecurity programs at Idaho colleges

Posted at 3:44 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 11:19:38-05

BOISE — Personal information is stored electronically more now than ever before, and Boise State is making sure more people understand how to keep it secure.

"We are now graduating 100 computer scientists wherein 2012 we were graduating 25, so that is certainly a way to meet some of that workforce," said engineering dean of Boise State University JoAnn Lighty.

Boise State has a new certificate program starting up in the fall, which aims to increase cybersecurity awareness for any student, studying any major so that everyone can be more prepared in the future.

"Think about all the small businesses we have across the valley, what we want the students to think about is if you are the business owner, what kind of security or information security program that you should have in place to protect your data and your customers data," said professor of electrical and computer engineering Sin Ming Loo, "all merchants supposed to be able to keep all those informations secure."

Governor Little wants to see the public universities collaborating on the cybersecurity front, recommending $1 million for joint programs between Boise State, University of Idaho, and Idaho State University.

"This increased level of collaboration across Idaho's higher education institutions will offer Idahoans a path to earn a degree in a high-demand profession by partnering with Idaho employers, including the Idaho National Laboratory," said Little at his State of the State address.

The three universities all have relatively new presidents.

"The school board has started a leadership council of those presidents and gives them the opportunity to really talk together and work out things versus try to compete with each other across the state," said Lighty.

Regardless of the decision in the legislature, Boise State continues to expand its programs and prepare students.

"We have 22,000 students across campus, and if what we do will work for our campus, I believe it will work for a lot of campuses," said Sing Min.