UNF recognized nationally for its cyber defense education

Protecting personal information online is a constant battle for many people. That?€™s why schools like University of North Florida created its cyber defense program to educate students on cyber security.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Protecting personal information online is a constant battle for many people.

That’s why schools like University of North Florida created its cyber defense program to educate students on cyber security.

When many people think of cyber security, they correlate larger organizations as being the ones who need protection.

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However, Shererif Elfayoumu who’s the director for the school of computing said it’s the everyday items people use that are also at risk of being hacked.

Your Alexa or Google home, all these devices are now connected to the network. What that means is there are more vulnerabilities now than ever before.

Swap Roy who’s an associate professor said it is somewhat easy for a hacker to steal information from your cell phone or credit card.

“Might be something you remember like your pin or password,” Roy said.

He said when you think about the biometric forms of authentication, like your finger print or retina scan, those forms are harder to impersonate but dangerous if it does happen.

“But if the biometric features get somehow hacked somehow compromised it’s almost impossible to generate a new biometric feature for the same person,” Roy said.

That’s why they’re training their students on the many aspects of cyber security, and this week they were recognized by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security for their academic excellence in cyber defense education.

It’s the curriculum, the faculty, and the facilities that helped their program to gain that national recognition.

“Not many people realize the opportunity there , there is not much attention to the field but I think we’re doing our best to make the younger generation aware of the opportunity,”  Elfayoumu said.

The median average for a cyber security analyst is around $100,000 a year.