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UNLV Launches Cybersecurity Program

As the world goes digital, cybersecurity is becoming more and more important.

Take, for example, the recent breach of Equifax credit monitoring, which exposed personal information of more than half of all Americans.

It’s scary stuff.

Coding is one way to fight back, but management is another part of the picture. Chris Stream is the director of UNLV's School of Public Policy and Leadership.

He said the universities new certification program for cybersecurity management is a way for people from all kinds of backgrounds to get a grounding in managing a crisis situation involving cybersecurity.

For people with an emergency management background, they get to learn about some of the technical parts of a cybersecurity crisis, but people with a background in information technology and systems management can get the management skills they lack.

“We really address that gap in the workforce to really train folks to understand the policies around cybersecurity, the communication around cybersecurity because it is also communication management when something happens to your organization,” Stream said.

He said governments have more and more of our personal information in a format that could be easily accessed by a hacker. 

“The amount of information that now exists in this cyber cloud world is enormous. For cities, they are often focused on the acquisition of the data but not on the use and protection of it,” Stream said.

He said city and county governments don't need a whole new program or piece of software to be prepared for a cybersecurity attack. Stream said many times government agencies are very divided and in their own separate "silo," getting those separate pieces together helps.

“But many times the solution can just be a table, like having these organizations or silos sit down together and talk,” he said.

However, they should be speaking the same language when it comes to cybersecurity, which is where the certificate program comes in. 

The program will be available in January 2018. 



Chris Stream, director, UNLV School of Public Policy and Leadership

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.