Students at Florida Polytechnic University are going beyond theory and enjoying an innovative, hands-on way of learning how to fight cybercrime.
The United States is projected to lose $2 trillion to cyber attacks by 2019. And the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals is only growing worse, with 1.8 million jobs going unfilled by 2022, according to a report from TechRepublic.
“Are we ready as a country to face this threat? Not really,” warned Dr. Kanwalinderjit K. Gagneja, professor of computer science.
Gagneja recognized the sharp need in the field and won a $44,000 grant from the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, managed by the University of South Florida, to develop the curriculum and lab technology for a new Digital Forensics course at Florida Poly.
“The private and public sectors are both looking for well-trained cybersecurity experts. The problem is there is not enough supply of these professionals out there,” said Gagneja.
The new course provides both hands-on and theoretical training in the lab, where students work in teams creating a more interactive learning environment.
“Florida is among the top states taking action against cyber attacks, but there are not enough colleges and universities training cybersecurity professionals to keep up with the demand,” said Gagneja. “Florida Poly is offering the right kind of training and courses to prepare the students for the industry needs.”
Every day there are over 720 million cyber attacks, according to Gagneja. She adds that these attacks don’t just focus on stealing data, but can also shut down whole businesses, city services, or even complete cities.
“Society must evolve to meet the escalated threats these attacks pose to our day to day lives,” she said. “We can only get ready through education and awareness.”
The grant provides training for an advanced workforce in a thriving field, positioning Florida Polytechnic University as a leader in cybersecurity education, consistent with its overall mission.
Assistant Director of Communications