Bluefield State College’s Larry Zande has received a Master’s Degree in “Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from Western Governors University. Zande, BSC’s web developer, also earned two certifications—"Certified Ethical Hacker” and “Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator,” from the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants in the process of earning his Master’s degree.
BSC looks to become a leader in West Virginia’s higher education system by establishing a Security Operations Center (SOC), according to Zande. “The SOC will monitor all network traffic and become the College’s first line of defense to identify and formulate ways to mitigate online vulnerabilities before they become a problem for the institution,” he explained. “This gives BSC a heightened cybersecurity posture in conjunction with currently implemented solutions.”
The SOC will utilize a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system to help process massive amounts of network traffic, Zande added. “The SIEM system correlates and normalizes the network logs and events automatically for the SOC team. If it detects abnormal network patterns, it sends an alert to the team in near ‘real-time’ so the team can respond accordingly,” he summarized.
Zande said his time at Western Governors University exposed him to a plethora of security tools and knowledge that, under his guidance, will improve the overall security infrastructure of Bluefield State College.