CWU News

CWU Champions Cyber Security Awareness Month Campaign

Mitigating and responding to cybersecurity attacks will be the focus of Central Washington University’s first free, public Cyber Security Awareness Month presentation, “Evolving Threats to Cyber Security.” To be led by Frank Harrill, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, it is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Theatre.

It comes amid a growing threat of computer hackers gaining access to personal information, according to Gene Shoda, CWU assistant vice president for information technology/chief information officer.

“We live now in a more connected world than ever before and that brings with it increased risks for theft, fraud, and abuse,” Shoda pointed out. “This month, we’re attempting to raise awareness and increase the resiliency of our students, faculty, and staff in regard to cyber security.”

Harrill, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Spokane operation, has been with the bureau since 1995. Previously, he was stationed in Los Angeles, where he investigated computer and high-tech crimes.

The 12th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, throughout October, has a goal of ensuring all Americans have the resources needed to stay as safe and secure as possible online. It’s sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and National CyberSecurity Alliance, which, for a third straight year, has listed CWU as among it’s Champions Organizations.

“We received the honor, again, because of our commitment to share best practices, adhere to stronger security standards, use approved standards to manage our risk, disclose threat information, and adopt the most secure payment technologies,” Shoda said.

The Champions designation goes to universities, colleges and corporations that have demonstrated their commitments to promoting a safer, and more secure and trusted Internet. That includes through organizing and sponsoring events, and promoting and supporting cyber-security-awareness education.

In addition, to address the growing needs of government and industry, CWU’s Information Technology and Administrative Management Department offers minor, undergraduate, and graduate programs in cybersecurity. They addresses identifying information-system vulnerabilities, tracking cybercriminals, and creating adequate defense solutions. 

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

Photo: Frank Harrill

October 12, 2015