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JCCC’s hackers — and how they plan to strengthen the world’s digital security

By Tracy Q, photo editor

Every week, Cybersecurity Club meets to discuss the latest threats to network security and to acquire hands-on hacking experience. 

Members also take on penetration testing challenges, authorized and simulated attacks on computer systems, in the National Cybersecurity League Competition.

“It’s about knowing where the weaknesses are,” said Dan Long, Professor of Information Technology and Club Academic Advisor. “Just like keeping your home safe by testing the locks, doors and knowing where all the entrances are, cybersecurity is about knowing how your networks can be accessed.”

According to Daniel Gonzalez, Cybersecurity Club vice president and Student Senate president, the club is open to all JCCC students, because the club believes that everyone should learn about cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity can be implemented by everyone and can have a big impact… using long passwords, consistently, updating software on devices and enabling multi-factor authentication on your accounts,” Gonzalez said.

According to Long, even IT students sometimes ignore the importance of network security. For this reason, the club encourages habits that protect their personal information. 

“The club requires members to use a VPN to access virtual labs to participate in activities,” Long said. “It’s one of the many ways the club gets students used to the everyday practice of shoring up the weaknesses in their networks. They’ve also practiced SIM card cloning, which is a common way people’s private data can be stolen.”

“Cybersecurity is a growing field, with over 400,000 open positions and more needed in the future,” Long said. “The club’s goal is to leave students in a better position to compete in a world that’s increasingly finding electronic systems in every aspect of work and life.”

In today’s digital world, home security, banking information, personal vehicles and even basic human communication are all tied to an internet connection and an online account. This is why cybersecurity skills are so vital. 

“You have to be right every time,” Long said. “The hacker only has to be right once,” said Long.

Cybersecurity Club meets Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m., in RC 340. 

Yoshiki Stout, student reporter


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