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HCC offers 2-year program in burgeoning cybersecurity

Aug 11

Written by: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 10:50:59 AM 

HCC offers 2-year program in burgeoning cybersecurity

Are you considering a career in cybersecurity? There were more than 75,000 information security analyst positions available in 2012, and it is projected that the number will climb to over 100,000 jobs by 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. Reports from Cisco and Symantec indicate a shortage of talent with over 1 million unfilled openings globally. Fortunately, formal education programs are available on Oahu.

Honolulu Community College offers an associate’s program in computing, electronics and networking technology to provide fundamental knowledge in information technology. This program is recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education.

The two-year program includes courses in network management, security, systems administration and virtualization. Most courses require two hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week, so students get a lot of hands-on time. One of the more cybersecurity-focused projects is to install Security Onion, a popular network security monitoring package, allowing students to observe and detect attack patterns in a lab network.

Students can dive deeper into cybersecurity by continuing on to the University of Hawaii at West Oahu to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree with a concentration in information security and assurance. The Committee on National Security Systems and the National Security Agency have certified the courseware to meet the National Level Information Assurance Subject Matter Experts and determined to meet National Training Standard for Information Systems Security Professionals for the current academic years.

The coursework expands on tactical knowledge by exploring common attack tools and how to defend against them as well as investigating topics in digital forensics and evidence. The strategic topics cover risk assessments, information security governance and metrics. Case studies include research and review of published works on APT1 cyberespionage campaign, Dark Seoul attacks and the Stuxnet worm that attacked nuclear facilities. Michael Miranda, Hawaiian Telcom’s director of information security, will teach two courses this year.

It’s great to have robust education programs here in Hawaii that can prepare students and individuals who are interested in making a career change for positions in the rapidly growing area of cybersecurity.

Vincent Hoang is an enterprise architect at Hawaiian Telcom, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GSNA Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). Reach him at

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