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Planting the Seeds of Cybersecurity Awareness

Students learn and explore the world of cybersecurity during the 2015 UB GenCyber Camp.

Article by Rachel Lim / Photo by Aaron Fiebelkorn

Published September 17, 2015

Cyber-attacks and data breaches are evolving at an alarming rate. As a result, cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing emerging careers in the industry. Thanks to the GenCyber Camp, held at UB from July 6-10, 2015, a group of middle and high school students were given a chance to prepare for this exciting career path.

Rachel Lim (UB Student, Class of 2015) was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is proficient in speaking and writing three languages- English, Mandarin and Malay. Rachel is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus in financial analysis and marketing.

The UB GenCyber camp was far from your average summer camp. The camp’s one-week curriculum involved a variety of hands-on education sessions on cybersecurity topics led by experts from industry and government, UB faculty members and current UB students. Activities ranged from learning to use Google more effectively to building a Web page and monitoring it against potential attacks. On the final day, students also participated in a two-hour simulation of a security breach.

"This is a really important issue to businesses and we need to take appropriate measures to make the proper decisions and investments regarding cybersecurity to protect our customers’ information," said David Murray, Associate Professor of Management Science and Systems in the UB School of Management.

Dr. Catherine J. Ullman, Information Security Analyst with UB’s Information Security Office, presented a session along with Computer Discipline Officer Michael Behun. "The success of UB’s GenCyber Camp is a direct result of the upper level undergraduate and graduate mentors assisting the students," Dr. Ullman said. "The mentors went out of their way to make sure that each student was engaged and understanding all the steps of the learning process."

UB students Stacey Askey, Joe D’Amato, Aaron Fiebelkorn, Alexandra Mazzei, Rohan Shah, Suoyang Li and Justin Slivus all presented on topics relevant to cybersecurity throughout the week. Other speakers included UB’s Kevin Cleary, Associate Director of IT for UB Campus Living, and Vincent O’Neill, a faculty member from UB Theatre and Dance. Brian Durham from Time Warner Cable also presented, as did cybersecurity experts from the NSA and FBI.

UB is one of 29 university campuses to host the GenCyber camp across the U.S. The camp is funded by a grant through the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), in addition to corporate support from Time Warner Cable. The 2015 UB GenCyber camp was presented thanks to collaboration from UB’s School of Management, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE).