UAH students get scholarships to pursue cyber security

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Cyber security crimes seem to be growing all the time, but so is the force to fight back.

For example, for a group of students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, cyber security has done a lot. The National Science Foundation funded a scholarship, totaling four-point-two million dollars.

One of seven scholarship recipients, Jesse Hairston tells us, “It’s going to pay for the rest of my college.”

But getting more students like these means a lot in today’s world. Cyber security expertise proves elusive.

Fellow recipient Gerald Phillips points out, “Nobody knows about it, which is . . . scary.”

Because as Recipient Stephen Cantley points out, we rely on connections for “everything from national security down.”

Hairston adds, “Everything that we have is connecting to the internet now, which is kind of leaving us vulnerable in a lot of senses.”

Take a big security breach like the one we saw announced by a major hospital group this week. It puts a lot on the line, but it doesn’t shock anyone in the know.

Cantley reflects, “It’s not the first time. It’s not going to be the last time.”

Which shows how understanding of cyber security continues to evolve, expanding from pure prevention to include response.

Phillips explains,”Given the amount of time, anything can be hacked, but I guess that’s just where you have to have your intrusion detection systems up and as strong as they can possibly be.”

A response that thankfully more and more young people want to be a part of.

Hairston says,”I just can’t wait until I learn up in my career some more, so I can help fix those types of problems.”

 



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