116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — In 2020, Dan Tuuri helped launch the DeltaV Code School’s new Computer Help Desk curriculum. Cybersecurity made up one small component of that training.
It didn’t take long to see that much more was needed.
In 2021, multiple high-profile cybersecurity attacks crippled businesses throughout the United States.
Fort Dodge-based NEW Cooperative was targeted by ransomware in September, while SolarWinds Corp and meat processing company JBS suffered attacks earlier in the year.
“Every single day we’re seeing some sort of reference to a computer attack in the news,” Tuuri said.
“It became quite evident that cybersecurity needed to be more than just a component of our Help Desk training. It needed to be a stand-alone program.”
So in March that’s exactly what will happen. DeltaV will launch its Cedar Rapids-based Cybersecurity class March 21, aiming to help students build a new career in a desperately-needed field.
The class will run through May 27.
“We need to help organizations prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks and threats in a rapidly changing environment,” Tuuri said. “Students in this class will get real exposure to the ways that bad agents and criminals cause harm, and learn how businesses defend and recover.
“We really tried to tailor it to what makes sense here in Iowa, and in the Corridor.”
DeltaV’s course begins with brief instruction on networks, server administration, and cloud computing. It also covers artificial intelligence, physical security and disaster recovery planning, among other topics.
“The class is designed to make sense even to students who don’t previously have a lot of computer training,” Tuuri said.
DeltaV’s courses will feature industry professionals as guest lecturers, including those who have worked in industrial control systems, crime investigation, auditing, and network infrastructure.
Students will access digital libraries with tens of thousands of resources to support their learning.
The class ends with a multi-day live hacking scenario, in which students will put their skills to the test in responding to a simulated cyberattack.
Tuuri noted the 72-hour attack is designed to test more than just the computer skills of his students.
“Whenever we’re involved in anything, we need to learn how to take care of ourselves and how to not let our emotions get the best of us,” he said. “So if a student stays up all night trying to solve everything on day 1, they’ll be exhausted by day 2.
“Time management is critical, and by doing this 72-hour simulation, we’ll want students to apply some of those time-management lessons that we’ll have taught them in the class.”
Funding for the development and launch of the DeltaV Cybersecurity program was provided by the Cedar Grove Signature Fund. ProCircular in Coralville also has partnered with DeltaV to make the class a reality.
The need for developing cybersecurity training programs in Iowa is crucial, according to Brandon Potter, ProCircular’s chief technology officer.
“The DeltaV curriculum from NewBoCo gives our local market the ability to upskill talent and bring cyber resiliency to our backyard,” Potter said.
Financing and Diversity Tuition Awards are available for students who qualify. Those who are interested can view the upcoming schedule, learn more about tuition awards, and apply at deltav.school.
Tuuri noted the potential for job growth and income in the cybersecurity realm is massive.
Information security analysts, for example, have a 31 percent job outlook growth, as well as a national median salary of $103,590, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, Tuuri said, the rewards of working in cybersecurity go beyond a paycheck.
“One day you might be protecting a hospital. The next day, you might be protecting educational records,” he said.
“Maybe you’re protecting critical infrastructure, like water or electricity. You’re really making a difference every single day in the lives of your community.”