CEDAR RAPIDS – In 2020, Dan Tuuri helped launch DeltaV Code School’s new IT support program. Cybersecurity was a small component of this training.
It didn’t take long to see that much more was needed.
In 2021, several large-scale cybersecurity attacks crippled businesses across the United States.
Fort Dodge-based NEW Cooperative was the target of ransomware in September, while SolarWinds Corp and meat processing company JBS suffered attacks earlier in the year.
The JBS beef plant in Brooks, Alberta, Canada. (Bloomberg)
“Every day we see some sort of reference to a computer attack in the news,” Tuuri said.
“It became clear that cybersecurity needed to be more than just a part of our Help Desk training. It needed to be a standalone program.
So in March, that’s exactly what will happen. DeltaV will launch its Cedar Rapids-based cybersecurity course on March 21, with the goal of helping students build a new career in a desperately needed field.
The course will continue until May 27.
“We need to help organizations prevent, detect and respond to cyberattacks and threats in a rapidly changing environment,” Tuuri said. “Students in this class will get real exposure to how bad agents and criminals cause damage, and learn how businesses defend and recover.
“We really tried to adapt it to what makes sense here in Iowa and in the Corridor.”
Dan Tuuri, DeltaV
The DeltaV course begins with brief instructions on networking, server administration, and cloud computing. It also covers artificial intelligence, physical security, and disaster recovery planning, among other topics.
“The class is designed to be meaningful even for students who don’t have a lot of computer training yet,” Tuuri said.
DeltaV courses will feature industry professionals as guest speakers, including those who have worked in industrial control systems, criminal investigations, auditing, and network infrastructure.
Students will have access to digital libraries with tens of thousands of resources to support their learning.
The course concludes with a multi-day live hacking scenario, in which students will test their skills in responding to a simulated cyberattack.
Tuuri noted that the 72-hour attack is designed to test more than just the computer skills of its students.
“Whenever we’re involved in anything, we have to learn to take care of ourselves and not let our emotions get the better of us,” he said. “So if a student stays up all night trying to figure everything out on Day 1, they will be exhausted on Day 2.
“Time management is key, and in doing this 72-hour simulation, we’ll want students to apply some of those time management lessons we taught them in class.”
Funding for the development and launch of the DeltaV Cybersecurity program was provided by the Cedar Grove Signature Fund. ProCircular in Coralville has also partnered with DeltaV to make the class a reality.
The need to develop cybersecurity training programs in Iowa is critical, according to Brandon Potter, chief technology officer of ProCircular.
“NewBoCo’s DeltaV program empowers our local market to hone talent and bring cyber resilience to our backyard,” Potter said.
Tuition funding and diversity scholarships are available to qualifying students. Interested individuals can view the upcoming schedule, learn more about tuition scholarships, and apply at deltav.school.
Tuuri noted that the potential for job and revenue growth in cybersecurity is enormous.
Information security analysts, for example, have a job outlook growth of 31%, along with a national median salary of $103,590, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, Tuuri said, the benefits of working in cybersecurity go beyond a paycheck.
“One day, you may protect a hospital. The next day you might be protecting school records,” he said.
“Perhaps you are protecting critical infrastructure, like water or electricity. You truly make a difference every day in the life of your community.