“Security fits into so many roles these days,” said Jay Bracken, information security officer with The VGM Group. People working in areas like accounting or facilities “need to have some knowledge of security,” he noted. The skills students will learn in the new program can “launch you into a lot of career paths.”
“Since we’re in the health care business, we need to be in the security business,” said Jeremy Kauten, VGM’s chief information officer and senior vice president of information technology.
Robin Nelson, shareholder director of security projects at BerganKDV, suggested that in coming years students from other Hawkeye programs may begin to take some cybersecurity classes because those skills are so important.
“So, I definitely give Hawkeye credit for getting ahead of this,” he said.
“With everything in the news, having that security foundation is going to be huge,” added Brian Frederick, manager of technology support services for BerganKDV.
In recent months, companies across the country like Colonial Pipeline and meat processor JBS have dealt with ransomware attacks, and computer hackers got into the network of Iowa-based Wolfe Eye Clinic. Educational institutions in Iowa have been affected, as well, including Des Moines Area Community College and La Porte City’s Union Community Schools. DMACC shut down online and in-person classes for nearly two weeks in early June due to a ransomware attack and Union Schools discovered a data breach this spring when hackers gained access to the district’s computer system.