Q&A with Rich Lamb
Q: How do you use cyber safety and the training you received in your everyday life?
A: With all the recent ransomware attacks being discussed in the news, there currently is a lot of talk about the need for cybersecurity in our lives. I try to do the simple things every day. That means that I use a password manager, anti-virus software, increased security settings on my devices, etc. I also do not use any available WIFI networks, choosing to use my personal hotspot instead. I also make sure to limit my publicly available information.
While I understand that most people are good and not looking to steal my information, it never hurts to take REASONABLE precautions to protect my personal data.
Q: What is your affiliation to the UPCI?
A: My original affiliation with UPCI came during my time as Coordinator of Cyber Operations at another cyber hub, Pinckney Cyber Training Institute (PCTI), which is part of Pinckney Community Schools (near Ann Arbor). Our focus at PCTI was expanding cybersecurity training opportunities for K-12 students, individuals with disabilities and veterans. During my time at PCTI I had opportunities to collaborate directly with Doug Miller and his team. I also have taught Cisco Networking Courses through UPCI.
This past June, after 25 years of public service, I retired from Pinkney. Currently I am doing freelance cybersecurity training through my LLC, Michigan Information Technology Training (MITT). This includes continuing to teach courses for UPCI as well as develop curriculum and coordinate the training opportunities available there.
I am also working with the Michigan Bridge Academy, which is a training program for individuals with disabilities. Our focus of MBA is to provide training for the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) industry certifications.
Q: What is your hope for the future of cybersecurity and safety?
A: My hope is that the bad guys lose, which is a tall task. For individuals and businesses, I hope to see an increased use of best practices and an overall awareness of the simple roadblocks each of us can put in place to protect ourselves. I also hope that companies are vigilant in understanding that it is just as important to protect their people (customers, employees, etc.) as it is to protect their data.
Q: Why would you recommend someone take a course?
A: Many people are intimidated when it comes to cybersecurity. They believe that you need to be a ‘math/computer genius’ to do this. What they need to understand is that there are many levels to this.
If you are an individual with a curiosity, there are introductory classes that teach you the basics of protecting yourself. For example, there are free courses available that only take a few hours to learn some simple concepts.
If you are a business (even a sole proprietorship), understanding how to protect your assets as well as your brand requires that you have some knowledge of the cyber world.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone interested in taking a course?
A: Go for it. If you’re unsure where to start, reach out to a training organization (such as UPCI) to find out what they offer. Take one of the free offerings that are available. Then find out what the next level is.
Rich Lamb is a cybersecurity professional who has over 25 years of experience in the industry. He works as an educator and trainer while coordinating course design and curriculum development.