How to Train Students to Navigate the 'Internet of Things'

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Blog posts, videos, tweets, commercials, TV news, articles, Facebook posts, e-books and white papers - the amount of information created on a daily basis is mind-boggling. In fact, IBM reports that every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.

To create and access all that information, people rely on electronic, connected devices.

"Everything is computerized," says Carl J. Jensen, professor and director of the Intelligence and Security Studies Program and co-director of the Citadel Center for Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Studies. "By 2020, there will be 50 billion wired devices."

Devices from computers and cameras to refrigerators and televisions will be part of this new “Internet of Things.” And while it improves quality of life, it also presents concerns for many security professionals notes Jensen.

“In particular, the Internet of Things will provide many more suitable targets for hackers and terrorists to exploit. Imagine someone having the ability to hack into your household appliances, using them to mount an attack,” he adds.

So that does this mean for Jensen as he trains a new generation of IT and cybersecurity specialists at The Citadel?

In the past, he says, an expert was someone who knew a lot about a particular topic. Today, that vast knowledge of a specific subject matter isn’t what makes you an expert, but rather your ability to know where to look for information. The experts are those who can access, synthesize and download necessary information.

“It’s a challenge for intelligence analysts,” says Jensen. “If there’s too much information, how do you get to what’s important, what’s credible?”

The general public can sift through information to find just those items that support their beliefs and convictions, rather than being challenged by opposing viewpoints.

An information intelligence analyst takes in all the information and employs critical thinking skills to analyze information and test a hypothesis, Jensen says. Those same critical thinking skills are used to write and prepare briefs – distilling down all the information to the most needed facts.

These skills will be needed for private business, public corporations and in the military where the future of warfare won’t be solely on the battlefield but also in cyberspace, Jensen says.

If you’re considering a career in intelligence and security, consider pursuing a degree at The Citadel. To learn more about The Citadel’s Intelligence and Security Studies program, visit Citadel.edu.

 

Sponsored by: The Citadel