SRU hosts seventh annual Cybersecurity Fair
Oct. 29, 2020
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's hard to remember a time when the majority of your day wasn't spent in some sort of virtual reality. And as even the most routine activities have transitioned to an online format, ensuring your security against potential (and very real) threats from phishing scams and viruses has never been more important. With that in mind, Slippery Rock University students and faculty will have the opportunity to learn how to better defend themselves at the 7th Annual Cybersecurity Fair. This year's event will go live via a series of preproduced videos at midnight, Oct. 30.
The fair, staged in October to coincide with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, serves as an opportunity to increase awareness about cybersecurity within everyday activities while giving students from SRU's corporate security, homeland security, computing and other technological areas of study the chance to share what they have been learning in the classroom.
"Our students enjoy being able to help raise awareness about cybersecurity in the University community so that people get a better understanding of the dangers that are out there and how they unknowingly put themselves at risk every day through seemingly harmless activities," said Stephen Larson, an associate professor of healthcare administration and information systems. "A lot of apps and devices have consequences we aren't aware of."
While the fair has hosted third-party presenters in the past, such as Best Buy's Geek Squad, the Better Business Bureau and SRU alumni, this year's event will exclusively feature presentations by undergraduate students from Larson's Practical Computer Security course.
The fair will feature 13 videos that were produced by 35 students and cover topics including social media safety, viruses and malware, data encryption, Chromebook and phone security, how to secure your home Wi-Fi and more.
Larson said that the presentation of the fair in a pre-recorded, rather than live, fashion will allow attendees to view any and all presentations they would like to attend rather than having to pick and choose and potentially miss out on something they might find valuable. Attendees will also be able to leave questions for the presenters in the comments section of each video.
Student presenters at the fair include:
- Michela Beattie, a senior corporate security major from New Kensington.
- Olivia Black, a junior information systems major from Mechanicsburg.
- Donald Boley, a junior corporate security major from Carlisle.
- Matthew Bordick, a junior corporate security major from Grove City.
- Trenton Brown, a junior computing major from Coraopolis.
- Tyler Burnell, a junior computing major from Russell.
- Michael Bushem, a junior computing major from Glenshaw.
- Emily Campbell, a senior homeland security major from Pittsburgh.
- Tyler Cehelsky, a sophomore exploratory major from Mooresville, North Carolina.
- Anna Chiprean, a junior dual major in homeland security and corporate security from Butler.
- Nicole Dunlop, a senior corporate security major from Latrobe.
- Cory Faight, a junior computing major from Johnstown.
- Michaela Ferguson, a junior corporate security major from Grove City.
- Kari Franklin, a junior computing major from Emlenton.
- Bryce Gabler, a junior homeland security major from Saint Marys.
- Christopher Galbraith, a senior dual major in accounting and corporate security from Gibsonia.
- Alexandra Geib, a junior computing major from Lititz.
- Tyler Gmerek, a junior corporate security major from Lockport, New York.
- McKenzie Gost, a junior dual major in homeland security and corporate security from Johnstown.
- Keynon Griffiths, a senior corporate security major from Latrobe.
- Gregory Kirklewski, a junior computing major from Blawnox.
- Nathaniel Konieczka, a senior dual major in homeland security and corporate security from Cranberry Township.
- Corey McCombie, a senior corporate security major from Johnstown.
- Zachary Neal, a junior computing major from Gibsonia.
- Kyle Novak, a senior information systems major from Murrysville.
- Andrew Perrett, a junior computing major from Moon Township.
- Matthew Petrisin, a sophomore computing major from Venetia.
- Andrew Polechko, a senior homeland security major from Mount Pleasant.
- Emily Schob, a junior dual major in homeland security and corporate security from West Mifflin.
- Collin Shaffer, a junior information systems major from Gibsonia.
- Julie Smith, a senior dual major in homeland security and corporate security from Muncy.
- Damian Uhl, a sophomore information systems major from Cranberry Township.
- Jonathan Welsh, a senior dual major in corporate security and homeland security from Canonsburg.
- Tori Widenhofer, a junior information systems major from Butler.
- Brenden Woodside, a sophomore computing major from Kittanning.
Attendees will be prompted to enter their SRU username and password upon entrance to the fair.
SRU was named a 2020 National Cyber Security Alliance Champion Organization for its annual cybersecurity fairs. According to its website, the NCSA, a nonprofit organization, "builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity."
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