For a long time, the computers in the Cybersecurity Club’s lab lay dark and dormant, their screens empty and blank. A few weeks ago, though, dozens of monitors lit up after a whole year and new life was breathed into the club.
The Cybersecurity Club was created for students interested in computer science and information technology to unite and discuss ideas, explore new areas in technology, and advance their careers in their respective fields. Though it was inactive for a year during the COVID-19 pandemic, this semester saw a relaunching of the club.
Junior Alex Borodin said it was his data p[rivacy and security professor’s encouragement that motivated him to join the club.
“Professor Christian Balan was really my inspiration,” Borodin said. “He informed us all about the benefits of joining the club and all the resources it has to offer. I was immediately convinced to join.”
During the first meeting, the club found the computers unused in over a year and some of the servers not even functional. So they spent the next several meetings fixing and rebooting the entire system.
“The whole experience of fixing the old system and getting things back in shape was really interesting,” Borodin said. “It also helped us get to know each other and build relationships within the club.”
Another important project the club is working on is developing an intrusion detection system, which is a type of software that can detect intrusive efforts such as hacking.
The club also explores various educational and professional opportunities for students and makes sure its members are aware of these programs. Among them is an initiative of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) that helps “working professionals (cyber and non-cyber), employers, students and recent grads to explore and build their own career roadmap across the 52 different NICCS Framework work roles.” Another is a game known as CyberStart that helps players develop their cybersecurity skills through real-world challenges.
These programs and opportunities are the main reason Taisha Dormil has been part of the club for over two years.
“I joined the club because it provided me with practical hands-on experience that will be useful for my career,” Dormil said. “I want my experiences to be able to prepare me for my career after graduation.”