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The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University recently launched a new student organization, specifically geared toward students who have an interest in the vital field of cybersecurity.

The Texas A&M Cybersecurity Club’s mission is to promote an increased understanding of cybersecurity and related topics among the student population, while also exposing students to people in the industry who can provide examples of what cybersecurity looks like in practice.

Additional meetings are planned to also allow organization officers to present topics that will be useful in cybersecurity competitions.

The club participates in competitions such as the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, NSA Codebreaker Challenge, The National Cyber League Competition and the Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Competition.

Because of the overwhelming amount of data that is now stored online and on vulnerable machines, cybersecurity is becoming a more prominent subject to study.

“My interest in cybersecurity is linked to my desire to fully understand the digital infrastructure that I use every day,” said Ryan Gates, speaker organizer. “It's fascinating and there is a growing need for people to understand and secure this infrastructure.”

Faculty advisers for the student organization are Dr. Daniel “Rags” Ragsdale, director of the Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center; Dr. Philip Ritchey instructional assistant professor in computer science and engineering; and Dr. Trez Jones,  clinical assistant professor in the Department of Education and Human Development.

“Cybersecurity is a vast and exciting field,” Ritchey said. “It is something that everybody can, and should, get involved with, regardless of their technical background.  Learning more about cybersecurity will help you and others to stay safe in our digital world.”