RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- University of Nevada computer engineering experts say it is estimated that 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies have been hacked in the last few years, and the university's new cyber security program will take those challenges head on.
"Universities, governments, military, everybody has great interest in cyber security," said professor George Bebis, chair of the University of Nevada Computer Science and Engineering Department.
Bebis said the university is creating a new cyber security program that will especially benefit online gaming, health care and banking industries in Nevada.
"Being able to join forces and work in those areas on those problems is very exciting," Bebis said.
Nevada Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman said they're expanding the scope of cyber security, instead of just focusing on the technical side.
"The ideas are there, but they haven't been properly vetted with the folks who actually will implement them," Carman said.
They said what sets this cyber security program apart is that the classes don't just happen in computer engineering labs, they'll cross into the schools of business, journalism and liberal arts.
"We're going to be using both existing classes as well as developing new classes," Bebis said.
"It is going to span the wonderful spectrum of the university and that is where we have the advantage of having that expertise," Carman said. "This center is going to bring that expertise together in a way that is unique and powerful."
EDAWN President mike Kazmierski said the new program will strengthen northern Nevada's growing technology industry.
"This is very important," Kazmierski said. "The cyber security piece is very important."
He said showing our community is invested in the future will attract more tech companies and more jobs.
"It gives our students, people coming out of the university, a reason and an ability to stay in the region, not have to go somewhere else," Kazmierski said.
Carman said they'll be working to shape the program and find funding in the coming months and they hope to start offering the graduate certificate in cyber security this fall. They're also working on creating an undergraduate minor as part of the program.