To celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is profiling those in the Trojan community who are involved in cybersecurity. First up is future cybersecurity professional Andrew Bomberger, a senior majoring in computer science from Hot Springs who works as a student researcher and developer in the Cyber Gym.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am originally from a small town in Pennsylvania and moved to Hot Springs in late 2009 to be closer to family and friends. While I do enjoy playing volleyball, my favorite pastime outside of computers is traditional archery. Being outside where it’s just you, your bow, and the target can be very calming and is a great way for me to relax my mind.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
My goal is to get a job as a cybersecurity professional either here in Arkansas or in the Louisville, Kentucky, area.
What is your experience with the cybersecurity field?
Being at UA Little Rock really opened doors to me that I didn’t think were possible. I’ve been privileged and grateful to be a part of the UA Little Rock Cyber Gym and the work that they are doing to teach cybersecurity to high schools across the state.
I’m also currently involved in the Cybersecurity Club at UA Little Rock, where not only do we discuss and learn about current issues and techniques, but also participate in cybersecurity themed competitions such as CCDC, JOLT, NCL, and my personal favorite, Defcon’s OpenSOC CTF.
What made you want to get involved with cybersecurity?
I never knew that cybersecurity was the field that I wanted to work in until I saw a presentation about cell phone hacking around five years ago. That demonstration really opened my eyes to all that was possible and made me want to help protect others from making the same mistakes. Now the more involved I get in cybersecurity, the more interesting it gets. It’s exciting to think about where we could be in the next few years.
How important do you think cybersecurity is and why? Why is now a good time to work in cybersecurity?
As long as the internet exists, there will always be a need for cybersecurity. Especially now so that almost every piece of data about a person exists on the internet. From medical bills and tax information to social media profiles. The need to secure these vectors is immense.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What are a few pieces of advice the average person can do to protect themselves from cyber attacks?
If something seems suspicious, it probably is. Avoid it. To go even further, a good practice to follow is “confirmation.” If you receive a suspicious message telling you to do something, try contacting the person or company directly to verify that the message is legitimate before acting upon any contents in the message.