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The minor in cybersecurity program teaches students basic cybersecurity information ranging from computer systems and networks to unauthorized usage and damage, as well as securing user information. | Image: Getty Images

The field of cybersecurity is exponentially growing as society moves through the digital age. Brian Uzuegbunam is jumping ahead of the curve as a student working toward a minor in cybersecurity through the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering at Texas A&M University.

"As we find more ways to progress technologically, there needs to be safeguards and regulations put in place to ensure they're not being used maliciously," said Uzuegbunam. "This minor has equipped me to understand what technology around me is capable of doing and its effect on our everyday lives."

Cybersecurity is loosely defined as protecting computer systems and networks from unauthorized usage and damage, as well as securing user information. This includes the protection of hardware, software and electronic data. 

From cyber ethics to the fundamentals of networking, the program offers an array of knowledge to students interested in gaining a basic understanding of cybersecurity.

"I learned about the real-world applications of cybersecurity and about the risks we take while existing in the digital age," said Uzuegbunam. "We are attached to the feeling of privacy, but innovations like facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and the tracking of IP addresses seem to go against that belief. Laws and regulations are often lagging behind the creation of this new technology." 

Uzuegbunam is an interdisciplinary engineering major with a concentration in computer science and management information systems. He took a cybersecurity course out of curiosity, and after his first experience in the classroom, decided to minor in the subject.

"I took my first course in the minor when I enrolled in computer science and engineering 402 taught by Dr. Paula DeWitte," he said. "I learned about cybersecurity's application to the law and government. I loved the structure of the lectures as it's a mostly open discussion on what's current in cybersecurity, such as breaches, presidential executive orders and court cases. After this course, I decided to continue the minor.”

Throughout the program, he has learned the necessary skills for developing cybersecurity solutions.

"Some of the skills I learned in this minor include dissecting the National Institute of Standards and Technology framework and an extensive set of cyber standards associated within scientific fields," he said. "I can now create and review various forms of risk assessments used in organizations. I also learned Python and plan to learn cryptography and the foundation of forensics in my last courses within the minor."

The cybersecurity minor was designed to appeal to all undergraduate students across multiple departments and in numerous colleges. The minor is available to all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.