by Cara Groves, Student Public Relations Writer
The SANS Institute is recognized as being one of the most prestigious and trusted training and certification programs for cybersecurity professionals. Certifications from this institute gives credibility to cybersecurity teachers and practitioners.
Two Cedarville University professors, Dr. Keith Shomper, senior professor of computer science, and Nicholas Parry, assistant professor of cyber operations and computer science, each completed a rigorous SANS program and now can share this expertise with their students.
Shomper’s certification is in the GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester, while Parry gained the GIAC Penetration Tester certification. The SANS Institute offers more than 40 specialized Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) cybersecurity certifications and 85 cybersecurity courses that are taught by well-respected experts in the field. The courses cover roughly 40 hours of content and include an intense exam at the end of the course.
“These are industry-respected credentials,” Dr. Seth Hamman, director of the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity at Cedarville, said. “Our professors care deeply about providing the highest quality education they can for our students. Plus, they love to learn. This investment will be multiplied hundreds of times over in our students.”
Parry’s and Shomper’s course taught them how computer systems and networks are vulnerable and how they can address these vulnerabilities before an attacker takes advantage of them.
“Penetration testing focuses on the comprehensive assessment of networks by figuring out how many vulnerabilities are in a given network,” Parry said. “We also focused on proof of concept, meaning we exploited these vulnerabilities in the network the same way that an attacker would. So, the course wasn’t only theoretical, as we were able to take advantages of systems and exploit them.”
For both Shomper and Parry, concepts they learned from the SANS courses will directly apply to their classes at Cedarville and help their students.
“I wanted to deepen my understanding of some of the concepts I haven’t studied yet and introduce them to my students so I can improve my courses,” Shomper said.
“There is immediate payback in the classes that we are teaching,” Parry said. “These certifications and skills are going to improve our content.”
Parry’s and Shomper’s dedication to the course and new-found skills will strengthen the computer science and cyber operations programs — which have already doubled in the past five years — for years to come.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is a Baptist university with undergraduate programs in arts, sciences, and professional programs, and graduate programs. With an enrollment of 5,456 students in 175 areas of study, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio and is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations, and high graduation and retention rates. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.