University of Nevada to Develop Cyber Security Center - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

University of Nevada to Develop Cyber Security Center

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Millions of consumers have been hit by hackers in the last few months - and now the University of Nevada is launching an initiative to fight back.

Last month's breach of 110 million Target customers' personal information served as a wakeup call to many consumers.

Millions of credit card numbers stolen left stores, banks and customers scrambling to stay ahead of the hackers.

And as our lives increasingly go digital and online, we can only expect that battle to get worse.

"President Obama has stated that the cyber threat is one of the most serious challenges, economic and national security challenges that will face the nation," says George Bebir, Computer Science and Engineering Chair.

But this increased need for cyber security means a unique opportunity for universities and students to develop new technologies.

And that translates directly to jobs.

"I believe our effort to build the Cyber Security Center and program at UNR is very well aligned to support the state's priorities and economic development."

The new cyber security program won't be the first at universities around the country, but it will be the first to bring together experts from a variety of fields.

The program will have a holistic approach including classes in the schools of business, engineering, liberal arts, and journalism.

Professors say that's because cyber security impacts much more than just our computers.

"Cyber threats and cyber attacks can affect not only computers, from a technical point of view, but can have an impact also on political stability and economic stability."

And even though the program isn't underway just yet, they've already had phone calls from businesses hoping a partnership with the university will give them an inside track to new programs - and newly trained graduates.

"We need to actively develop this expertise as soon as possible, to benefit our students and to become competitive in this global environment of this workforce."

The university plans to start classes for the graduate certificate in cyber security this coming fall and they're hoping to have the undergraduate minor ready to start by next spring.

Written by Arianna Bennett

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