UALR Information Assurance Program Could Boost Little Rock Economy

- LITTLE ROCK, AR- It's no secret that the number of cyber attacks continue rise each year. Now experts say it's prompting the need for more jobs geared to prevent crimes online. University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) is teaching students about online security, while benefiting Little Rock's economy.

UALR Professor Eduardo Garcia says jobs for Information Security analyst is expected to grow nearly 40 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is much faster than the average job. It's no secret cyber attacks create havoc every day, as more people go online for banking and paying bills.

"There is an obligation to make ensure that that information remains secure and that it is not used for ill purposes by a motivated third party," says Eduardo Garcia, UALR Criminal Justice Professor.

UALR's Eduardo Garcia is teaching students how to utilize Information Technology in an effective and safe way, and how to protect that information. They will need to come up with innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information.

"It's something that needs to develop very much in a proactive manner rather than reacting to the various kinds of situations that occur from day to day," says Garcia.

Students say it's vital that more people learn this new field.

"It's exponential as far as what you would call bad guys to good guys," says Krys Stephens, student. "Not enough people are educated on security, not enough people are aware of the risks. Every day there's something new that you may not even thought was possible that could happen."

With a unique program like this one in place, Garcia is hoping UALR's certified program on Information Assurance will attract companies to the Capitol city and create high paying jobs.

"There is an institution of higher learning that is dealing with this particular type of education that is most viable and supportive of the type of economy that is developing," says Garcia.

UALR offers a minor or certificate for Information Assurance Education.

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