Cyber Survival Guide

Kierra Turner Cybersecurity major '23
Author: Kierra Turner Cybersecurity major ’21

My name is Kierra Turner, and I am currently a Junior Cybersecurity major. Along with my academics I am also apart of some organizations on campus. The major is constantly changing to stay ahead of challenges that are could be a problem later on. I had the chance to talk to one of my professors whose name is Ed Weber. During my interview with Professor Weber we discussed what drew him into Cybersecurity, why he became a professor and also some tips and advice for success in both the major and the career.

Ed Weber, Clinical Information Systems Professor, Millikin University

What inspired him was his first job at Mercantile Bank where he was doing his regular daily job when an unencrypted file had been chosen at random for review. In the file were passwords which were written in plain text. Seeing this made him realize that even if your role isn’t security, you still have to deal with security. One of the biggest challenges Weber said was making sure that all that you do is on the ethical side. He also stated that he believed that someone could be in Cybersecurity and not have strong technical skills which can be the challenge for some. “Don’t get frustrated about not knowing” is some of the advice that Weber gave for students in not only the Cybersecurity majors but for most MIS majors as well. He went on to explain how in our industry its constantly changing and to not get discouraged from the change.

When asked about tips on how to succeed in our future careers he emphasized the balance needed. In this field there need to be a balance between the technical skills as well as the interpersonal skills. He went on to explain the misconnection that is usually given with the two and highlights the fact that even the best needs to present their ideas, as well as relaying crucial details and information. To wrap up his interview I inquired about what it was that made him want to go into teaching. He explained that after an extensive number of positions he was offered an opportunity to teach as an adjunct. During helping guide his class into doing it the correct way he realized this was what he was supposed to be doing, helping people.

Matthew Ranney Cybersecurity major ’21

I was able to interview an undergraduate Cybersecurity major whose name is Matthew Ranney. I asked Matthew how he would describe a day in his life with the major that he is in. He described it as challenging having to keep up with the numerous changes faced in Cybersecurity along with attending classes and going over the needed material. He explained that some classes were better than others with providing the sort of material where Cybersecurity came into play. He also explained how he would give roughly 10-20 hours a week on the material outside of class. I also got the chance to ask what advice would he give to others in our major on how to succeed. In which he replied “Find sources that help keep you informed on cybersecurity. This can house a lot of different topics, like cryptocurrency, data breaches, and how a company does and IT audit. Also learning about all the different methods of hacking makes the topic a lot more interesting. Keeping that motivation and understanding the topical reasons for getting into this field keeps one relevant to the field.”.

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