- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College’s Center for Cybersecurity recently hosted a talk by Alex Valentin, Chief Information Officer at the college, on how students can stay safe online.

The talk, celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, was the second in the college’s new Cybersecurity speaker series, which is open to the public.

“Most cyberattacks come through a person who doesn’t know that they’re a vector,” explained Valentin. “The most common vector is human error – you click a link you shouldn’t have clicked. You opened an email you shouldn’t have opened.”

He added, “With proper user education, you can cut this down by a large, large portion.”

Valentin has more than 40 years of experience in the IT industry, from banking and the finance sector on Wall Street to big pharma and the medical industry in the Hudson Valley. Valentin’s work has often centered on security.

The Mount’s Center for Cybersecurity provides program guidance and oversight to the college’s Cybersecurity major and concentration; brings expert speakers to campus; provides cyber defense resources to the campus and the community; and more. The initiative is maintained by the college’s Division of Mathematics & Information Technology and supported by an external advisory board of local and national industry professionals, as well as faculty from the Mount and other institutions.

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s business,” noted Sagar Raina, associate professor of Information Technology. “As an institute of higher education in the Hudson Valley, the Mount has a critical role to play in educating people about cybersecurity. The college’s Center for Cybersecurity, through workshops and boot camps led by expert faculty, will provide effective resources for local businesses, schools, and government organizations in cyber defense education and training.”

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