March 27, 2015

Workshop will explore cybersecurity careers

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school and community college students interested in cybersecurity careers can take advantage of a workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

The School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies (ISAT) will host the third annual “SIU Cyber Security Day” on April 18. Security industry experts, including alumni and current SIU students, will provide insight into cybersecurity trends and the program’s offerings. Participants will also be able to participate in a mock cybersecurity competition with the “Security Dawgs,” a registered student organization whose members compete in state and national cyber defense events.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the SIU Cyber Security Day at SIU Carbondale, Saturday, April 18. Go to Room 111 in the Applied Sciences and Arts Building C. Some of the workshops will be in the College of Engineering Auditorium. For more information, contact Tom Imboden, Information Systems and Applied Technologies associate professor, at 618/453-7296 or by email at

The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is directed toward students, but the public is also invited. The event is free, but registration is required, and the lunch and a T-shirt are available only to registered students. Registration is open until the event, but is required by Friday, April 3, for students who want a T-shirt. 

Registration information is available at 

The eight workshop topics include “cyber threats and careers,” “cyber career opportunities in the military,” “social media security” and “corporate cyber security strategy.” There will also be a session with current and past “Security Dawgs” discussing their experiences in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. SIU was second in the statewide tournament earlier this year, marking the fifth second-place finish to go with two state titles since 2006. 

Tom Imboden, an associate professor in ISAT, said there is a growing number of students are pursuing degrees involving cyber security. 

SIU’s program carries a prestigious stamp of approval from the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  In 2011, the program earned designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Information (CIASE).  The designation means both federal agencies recognize the program’s information assurance curriculum and activities. 

“Our teams, our students and our graduates do very cool stuff,” Imboden said. Community college and high school students may form teams to compete in the mock cyber competition; prior security knowledge or experience is not required. 

Imboden appreciates the numerous alumni who are returning to campus to participate. 

“It shows that they have been able to be successful and are willing to invest their own time helping others become successful in the field,” he said. “That they are willing to keep in touch with us after they graduate and are willing to help is pretty neat.” 

More information on the university’s ISAT program is available at