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The Antelope

Cutting-edge cyber security only getting better

Students in the information networking and telecommunications field pose after presenting information the public doesn’t generally know about cyber security and the future of it for UNK.

UNK’s systematic security is going strong.

BY: Brett Westfall

Fake emails, hacked accounts, lies about privacy settings in recent hacking scandals, and the more Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to develop through good and bad means, the more cyber security teams must create substantial protection for people. Students should always be wary of fake accounts and other issues that may invade one’s privacy, but UNK has taken the extra steps to make sure students’ access to items on their network and accounts are secure as well as provide students the opportunity to follow a career revolving around cyber security.

Two students from ITECH and management and research majors held an event about the future of cyber security with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building as well as to teach students good cyber security practices and to inform about how the networking system works.

“Our Wi-Fi system, to understand how it is all connected networking and security wise, our smaller servers are in the buildings of the College of Education, the Communications Center, the Health Science Education Complex, and West Center and all of them connect to our large, main server in the Otto Olsen building that sends information to the main servers at the University of Nebraska Lincoln,” said Grant Oberg, a junior Information Networking and Telecommunications (ITECH) major. “UNL would be the main site for our large server location, in which UNO, UNL, and UNK are all connected. There are about 24 people at UNK’s Information Technology Services (ITS) that also handle security and all together, there are about 400 ITS people working on this giant network.”

Privacy is big for Oberg as well, he explained how UNK remains cyber secure without breaking privacy rules. “UNK is a unique situation for cyber security because it’s an academic institution,” said Oberg. “There are only so many security measures they can put in place because of academic freedom. For example, they cannot dive into your internet traffic or history, the websites you’ve been to, what you’ve downloaded because you are researching something and they don’t agree with what you are researching or your viewpoint, they could potentially stop you.”

“In our classes, there are tools that we can use to backtrack viruses and more technical stuff like Artificial Intelligence (AI) without going into your private emails or any account information under the University system,” said Will Martinez, a junior studying information networking and telecommunications. “This is all even before the STEM building and the upgrades coming for everything.”

“When the STEM building is complete, information networking telecommunication majors that deal with cyber security now will stop because there will be a new department for cyber systems or operations when the building is complete,” continued Martinez. “So things are ramping up when it comes to security because of the boom of AI, which goes into everything technology wise. The University of Nebraska system all around is creating specific classes and programs for students interested in learning all of this because UNK is not going to be stagnate, they are taking the initiative to offer out a hand and let students come in and know the ins and outs of cyber security.”

UNK is quite ahead of many universities and colleges when it comes to cyber security thanks to great monitoring systems. “The University system has a monitoring system that catches sketchy things or viruses and alerts the security team when there is something wrong within the giant network,” Oberg said. “Though we shouldn’t say what the system is due to all types of hackers and other AI out there that could learn and bypass stuff, it is a secure system that is constantly updating and preventing students as well as faculty from having unsafe accounts.”

“UNK’s Wi-Fi security network feels light-years more secure than other networks for big universities and places like airports, but there are simple things anyone can do to prevent easy hacking,” Martinez said. “UNK’s system will block you or will find it due to a risk of potential threats found by the monitoring system and us. Always try and use ‘eduroam’ for Wi-Fi because it’s even more secure, faster, and you are protected.”

“Just trust your gut, if an email looks even partially sketchy or too good to be true, just don’t mess with it,” Oberg said. “Plus, being on this secure network, we are trained as well as practice staying current with whatever the latest security trends are since AI and technology is always evolving. UNK does and will continue to do a good job of informing it’s teachers, employees, and students of what practices not to follow when web searching and for us IT people to know what to do for security without invading people’s privacy.”

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