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Ridge College hosts training on cyber threats

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nearly every day there are reports of new data breaches, vulnerabilities on devices and applications, and cyber attacks targeting private users, industry, and government agencies alike. The sources of these attacks come from all over the world and include individuals, organized crime groups and nation states.  As such, the demand for cyber security intelligence professionals who can help identify these threat actors and how they operate continues to grow.

The Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst University and the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) are holding an introductory training opportunity this week designed for individuals and working professionals who are looking to gain a basic understanding of cyber threats, who the threat actors are, how they operate, and how to conduct basic online investigations. 

The certificate workshop runs June 20-22 in Room 202 of the Center for Academic Engagement on Mercyhurst’s Erie campus. Instructors include:

Laurie Iacono is program manager for Brand and Consumer Protection at the NCFTA.  She oversees a team of intelligence analysts investigating intellectual property theft, the online sale of counterfeit goods and threats against the retail sector.  

Charles Kuntz is IT director for the Ridge College. He has more than 25 years of IT experience. At Mercyhurst, he maintains the Ridge College network, which includes more than 450 users, 13 servers, and over 200 devices.  He assists with the curriculum for the online cyber courses for the college and teaches computer courses.

Steve Mancini is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Director of Strategic Operations for the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA).  As CTO, he oversees all IT and security requirements for the organization.  As the Director of Strategic Operations,  he identifies, creates and oversees any strategic operations that overlap programs within NCFTA.  He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches cyber crime and cyber security policy.

Stephanie R. Walker is an intern with the NCFTA and has been focusing on developing courses on analyzing cyber threats. She is also a fellow at the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies where she leads a working group that is  partnering with the local FBI field office to research countering violent extremism programs.

Bill Welch is an instructor with the Mercyhurst Department of Intelligence Studies. His primary focus is teaching intelligence communication at the undergraduate and graduate level.  As part of that course for the past six years, he has frequently had his students focus on cybersecurity topics. He was also involved in the press arm of the Mercyhurst Institute for Intelligence Studies. He is editor of The Analyst's Style Manual.