To celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is profiling those in the Trojan community who are involved in cybersecurity. Meet Becky Passmore, an information technology specialist and senior forensic examiner and program coordinator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as an adjunct instructor for UA Little Rock.
Please tell us about yourself.
I have been married to my husband for 19 years. We have two dogs, Casper and Buffy. We recently built our dream home in Cabot, Arkansas, where we plan to retire and enjoy.
I have worked in the federal government for over 23 years. I attended UA Little Rock in the 90s where I started working on my Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. I finished at University of Phoenix online while working full-time. In 2017, I completed my Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations.
What is your experience with the cybersecurity field?
Over the past 16 years, I’ve worked on several cases involving digital forensics and cybersecurity with the federal government. I have developed, instructed, and created content for digital forensics and cybersecurity courses for the federal government and universities I teach with.
What made you want to get involved with cybersecurity?
When I applied to work with the federal government, the recruiter encouraged me to study information technology. He stated, “criminals are using computers to commit crimes and that will be the future.” I took his advice and have been assigned to the Computer Analysis Response Team since 2004.
How important do you think cybersecurity is and why? Why is now a good time to work in cybersecurity?
Most everyone carries a mobile device; this is nothing short of a small computer in your hands on a daily basis. These devices connect to other devices, networks, and know your location and habits regularly. If not careful, all your information is vulnerable and should be protected in the same manner you protect your home and family. Educating individuals on the importance of cybersecurity is key in today’s society. Computers, networks, mobile devices, Internet of Things, and transportation are going to continue to evolve which includes vulnerabilities and malicious activity, therefore now is the time to learn as much as possible about cybersecurity and secure a job in the field.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What are a few pieces of advice the average person can do to protect themselves from cyber-attacks?
We are one “click” away from being attacked or everything being taken away! Don’t click on links sent through text messages or email that you are unaware of. There are individuals trying to obtain your information and will send realistic emails and text messages for you to click on. Be aware of the websites you visit. Keep your passwords safe and strong. Don’t connect to unsecure networks. To stay connected, stay protected.