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HCC and U.S. Government Focus on Cybersecurity as Cyberattack

HOUSTON [May 15, 2017] – A cyberattack that has infected computers in 150 countries continues to spread as experts try to determine who is responsible for the attack and how to stop it.  The cyberattack started three days ago and has hit hundreds of thousands of computers in hospitals, government agencies, factories and other businesses.
It is unclear how many computers in the United States have been infected. The attack began the day after a presidential directive to bolster cybersecurity was issued by the Trump Administration. The order signed by President Trump aims to prevent the hacking of government agencies and to enhance the protection of infrastructure, such as energy grids.
The cyberattack and the presidential order came just weeks after Houston Community College (HCC) received a rare accolade for its cyber defense system.  HCC was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense 2-Year (CAE2Y) Education for its cybersecurity program.  HCC is the only community college along the Gulf Coast to receive the CAE2Y designation established by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
HCC Chancellor Dr. Cesar Maldonado says the worldwide cyberattack and the presidential executive order demonstrates why the CAE2Y designation is so significant.  “Our CAE2Y designation confirms the quality and value of HCC’s cyber security program,” Dr. Maldonado says.  “Less than one per cent of all community colleges in the country have received this designation.”
The cybersecurity program is part of the Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence (COE) at HCC Southwest College.  “CAE2Y means HCC meets the very highest federal standards for cybersecurity,” explains Dr. Doug Rowlett, the Dean of the COE.
The presidential order is also significant to HCC because it points to the sharply expanding need for cybersecurity professionals.  As a CAE2Y institution, HCC is becoming highly regarded by employers seeking top notch cyber talent.
Dr. Madeline Burillo, President of HCC Southwest College, predicts the number of jobs in the cybersecurity workforce will rise dramatically.  “The number of open jobs will likely outpace the number of candidates qualified to fill them,” Burillo says.  “By receiving the best education with the highest standards in this field, HCC graduates will be well-positioned to not only fill those jobs, but to rise through the ranks of cybersecurity professionals.”
For more information on the HCC Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence and the Cybersecurity Program, visit http://www.hccs.edu/centers/digital–information-technology/

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