Waleed Farag presenting cybersecurity information to middle school studentsWaleed Farag, director of the IUP Institute for Cyber Security and professor of computer science, visited Indiana Area Junior High School on February 6, 2024, to share information about cybersecurity careers and the upcoming IUP GenCyber Summer Camp with middle school students and staff.

During the presentation, Farag detailed the lack of cybersecurity professionals in our country, using a recent cyberattack on the Pennsylvania Courts System as an example. In addition, students were provided information on the upcoming IUP GenCyber Summer Program, a federally funded initiative that encourages middle and high school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity through innovative and engaging hands-on activities during a weeklong camp.

Waleed Farag presenting cybersecurity information to middle school studentsIUP was the first university in Pennsylvania to offer this program in 2016 and continues to be the only university to offer it every year since then. The IUP GenCyber programs have trained over 550 students and teachers in important cybersecurity topics.

Through his work as director of the Institute for Cyber Security, Farag has built a system of initiatives and programs that supports students in obtaining the skills needed for a successful cybersecurity career. He said, “The first step in building a stronger cybersecurity workforce is getting young students excited about cybersecurity. Our GenCyber program has proven to do just that, and through other programs we’ve established at IUP, such as the IUP Cyber Scholarship Program, we can support the next generation of cybersecurity experts.”