Lack of trained people is one of the biggest woes of cybersecurity. Here is what Morgan State University is doing to fill the talent gap.

Dr. Kevin Kornegay is a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University. He is also the director of a laboratory set up to improve Internet of Things (IoT) device security.

With millions of people controlling cars, homes, baby monitors, and kitchen appliances from their smartphones, the IoT has opened up bright new possibilities. However, these fast-growing networks have also brought dark threats.

Cybercriminals and cyber attacks cost businesses as much as $400 billion in 2015.

“The cyber security sector is growing,” Kornegay says. “Demand is high, it’s a very lucrative profession,” he added.

2017 Cybersecurity Report

According to CISCO’s 2017 Cybersecurity Report, lack of trained people is one of the biggest obstacles to security.

In the top four obstacles for 2016, training tied with job certification (25%), software compatibility issues (28 percent) and tight budgets (35 percent).

To help inspire new cyber experts, Dr. Kornegay has developed summer programs at Morgan State.

“We’re working to get kids involved early, introducing simple programming,” he says. “Younger students and young women are more attracted to cyber than traditional computer science.”

Morgan State is also growing its degree and certificate programs.

At UMBC more than 300 students have received a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering since 1986.

“Here in Maryland we have an incredible cybersecurity education ecosystem, due in part to our proximity to the National Security Agency (NSA),” says Dr. Kornegay.

“All the agencies in the intelligence community have internships,” he adds.

John Hopkins Cyber Corps program also offers internships, and the University of Maryland University College has an online program.

There are internships with defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

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