Why the UPCI and Training are Important for Right Now
Doug Miller, UPCI Director
I am the director of the UPCI, and am responsible for ensuring that we achieve our mission: Teach, Test, Train, and Engage. This is my story on why I believe the UPCI and cybersecurity training are so important right now.
I attended college at the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Geography/Environmental Conversation in 1989. I went through the ROTC program and was commissioned into the Army. I then obtained my Masters of Science in Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation through the Naval Postgraduate School.
As a retired U.S. Army Aviation Officer with 24 years of active duty service and an additional 3 years of supporting the Army as a government civilian, I have had numerous leadership positions in operational, experimental test pilot, program management, and international technology coordination positions in the U.S. and Europe. One of my most recent assignments was duty as the Director of the U.S. International Technology Center of England.
My education, military background, and UPCI experience enables me to understand and focus on the importance of cybersecurity skills and training for professional or personal use. For example, I try to incorporate safe cyber hygiene practices into my daily routine to stay safe while using all of the great things the internet has to offer. This includes setting reminders on my calendar to back up my data, making sure auto software updates are working, and updating my passwords regularly. “It really does not take long to do those simple things and they collectively reduce the risk of being involved in a cyber crime incident.”
I have sat through the Intro to Networking courses, Cisco Cyber Ops course, Security+, and a few of our foundational courses. The courses that are offered through the UPCI allow training and skills to be available to all residents of the Upper Peninsula. We are also really working hard to get these opportunities out into the K12 schools as well!
I recommend anyone take a course through the UPCI because we have a number of great courses available depending on what your specific goals are. We offer courses in Python, Linux, Networking, and Cybersecurity. All of these skills and the knowledge learned in these courses are in great demand right now and for the foreseeable future. Give us a call to discuss your interests.
To anyone deciding whether or not to enroll in a class, I strongly encourage you to do so now because there has never been a better time or a greater need to improve your cyber defensive game.
Cyber crime is increasing, there are many great paying jobs, and a lot of resources available to help offset the costs of the courses. Most of our courses are approved in the Michigan Works Talent Connect system. We are also in the process of applying to be approved by the GI Bill. This Bill provides educational assistance to servicemembers, veterans and their dependents.
My hope for cybersecurity’s future is that people start taking it seriously. The UPCI can help. Anyone can become a victim at any time. People work hard for their money and to make their business successful. I would hate to see them suffer a cyber setback due to a lack of understanding on how to stay cyber safe in our connected society.