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Enlighten Me: UD's Cybersecurity Initiative

Delaware Public Media

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month.  That designation recognizes that now more than ever, we store tons of sensitive information -- from bank accounts to work documents ---online.  And every day, there are hackers trying to get that information. 

Technologists working around the clock to prevent that from happening, but 2014 saw a huge jump in data breaches -- about 49 percent according to a one report. And cyber criminals are rapidly becoming more sophisticated in their methods.

University of Delaware established its “Cybersecurity Initiative” last year to address the increasing demand for a larger cybersecurity workforce. Starnes Walker, the head of that initiative, helped develop not only a master’s program but also a minor to encourage students in arts and humanities to get involved.

"The minor program is one of the things I’m most excited about because we want to reach across a much larger population of academia," said Walker.

Walker, a national defense expert who previously held senior positions at the US Department of Defense and Homeland Security, adds he believes because everyone is affected in some way by cybersecurity -- people of various backgrounds and expertise should become fluent in it.

"All of us need a basic knowledge of how [cybersecurity] is done so we can best protect ourselves," said Walker.

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