Threats to the virtual world can be threats to the physical world — especially in the energy sector. In recent years, Internet-based attacks have hit electric grids, dams, oil producers and nuclear facilities.
One of the earliest warnings that such attacks were possible happened here in Idaho in 2007, when Idaho National Lab researchers launched a virtual attack against a diesel generator and caused it to physically destroy itself.
These systems involve equipment, resources and human lives. The risks are high, and the threat is real.
The key to securing the cyberphysical world is an educated workforce, ready to respond to threats and secure our infrastructure. But a study published in April noted that none of the top 10 U.S. university computer science programs requires students to take a cybersecurity class, and three offer no cybersecurity courses.
Idaho is different.
Our universities offer programs focused on cybersecurity. The University of Idaho, for