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Utica College Prepares Students to Fight Cyber Threats

More attacks highlight vulnerabilities, need for cybersecurity experts

UTICA, N.Y. A recent report released by McAfee Labs warns that hackers may attack dozens of banks in the United States early next year. This real and accelerating threat underscores the need for all types of organizations to be ready for such cybersecurity challenges. Utica College is preparing students for the front lines of the war against these kinds of attacks through its online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in cybersecurity.

Utica faculty members say the time for organizations to act is now. The attack referenced by McAfee Labs has been in the works since 2008 and has already resulted in losses of $5 million and 300 to 500 victims in the U.S.

"Many organizations don't have the right technology in place to realize they are fully penetrated and exfiltrating data," says Jeff Bardin, a lecturer at Utica who teaches courses including Cyber Intelligence and Counter Intelligence and Cyber Terrorism and has over 25 years of experience in the field. "On the other hand, many organizations have been implementing new technologies, new procedures and sharing hacking and malware indicators that help identify and remediate malicious attacks."

"The financial sector is a very attractive target," notes Joe Giordano, director of the M.S. in Cybersecurity – Intelligence and Forensics program at Utica College. "In fact, all U.S. critical infrastructures are targeted by malicious actors in cyberspace."

Giordano points out several of the most vital measures organizations should take to protect themselves. "Implement security countermeasures. Continually evaluate risk. Risk assessment should not be done and then just put 'on the shelf.' Continuous monitoring of networks. Gather cyber intelligence and share information across the community."

Utica College's online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Intelligence and Forensics incorporate the most up-to-date techniques and theories to ensure that students can handle today's threats as well as tomorrow's. Students build skills in system vulnerability assessment, countermeasure development, security policies and procedures, computer forensics investigations and cyber intelligence. Other topics include malware reverse engineering and forensics that deliver data indicators on means, motive and opportunities of potential hackers. "The more we get attacked, the more we are able to collect data points turning them into intelligence that can be used to counter the threats," says Bardin.

To learn more about how to combat cyber threats with the online degrees in cybersecurity from Utica College, go to or call (866) 295-3106.