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Cybersecurity at Whatcom Community College

Southside Living Magazine

Whatcom Community College CybersecuritySeptember 22, 2021— Even the less technical among us have noticed how frequently malicious hackers, stolen data, and ransomware have been in the news this year.

February: A cyber intruder hacks the control systems of a water treatment plant and tries to raise the levels of sodium hydroxide (AKA lye or caustic soda) high enough to poison residents of a small Florida city.

May: The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast, shuts down for several days because of hackers hijacking the company’s computers; a ransom of more than $4 million is paid to get the pipeline up and running quickly. June: A ransomware attack against JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, disrupts meat production in North America and Australia.

Throughout the United States, tens of thousands of cybersecurity professionals work full-time to prevent cyber attacks against hospitals, school systems, universities, utility companies, cities, states, federal agencies, and companies large and small. But there aren’t enough qualified cybersecurity workers to go around. The nonprofit Center for Cyber Safety and Education estimates that this cybersecurity workforce gap—between the number of actual information security workers in the...