Montreat College and Mission Health are teaming to develop cybersecurity professionals who are not only trained in the best techniques, but also have the kind of ethical and moral framework necessary to become trusted leaders in the cybersecurity field.

As part of their partnership, Mission Health is donating $25,000 to the college to assist with building a state-of-the-art Security Operations Center where students will get real-world experience in cybersecurity.

“We are deeply thankful for Mission Health’s strategic investment in Montreat College’s Cybersecurity program,” said Montreat College President Paul J. Maurer. “The partnership with Mission in cybersecurity is a big deal. It will be mutually beneficial, enabling Montreat College to build a teaching Security Operations Center (SOC) that mirrors the corporate and government SOCs that graduates will work in.”

The Security Operations Center will be located on the college’s main campus and will serve as a laboratory for training students in Montreat’s Cybersecurity program. The college is planning to work with the National Security Agency and other government and industry stakeholders to enhance its current offerings and to maintain a cutting-edge cybersecurity curriculum.

“Innovative collaborations with local organizations that have talent, expertise and a shared vision – like this one with Montreat College – are very important to Mission and to our community” said Mission Health President and CEO Ronald A. Paulus, MD. “Our BIG(GER) Aim is to ensure that each person achieves the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and always with an exceptional experience for every patient, family and team member.  Our work requires a large amount of confidential information.  Keeping that information secure and private is a top priority of our health system.”

“Cybersecurity is a priority for Montreat College,” said Maurer. “It has rapidly become one of the nation’s greatest national security threats, thereby creating a tremendous need in the market for a deeper understanding of the problem, and for qualified workers to address it. Montreat College brings a unique perspective to the dialogue because we see cybersecurity as more than a technical problem. The solution requires educating people of character to be the leaders to address this problem. While our students acquire strong technical skills, they are also taught the ethics of cybersecurity and the ability to communicate with and lead the teams they work with.”

Mission Health Information Security Officer Jim Kelly is on the Montreat College Cybersecurity program’s advisory board. He says the field of cybersecurity, particularly as it relates to medical devices, is growing, and that Mission Health is always looking for qualified professionals to help protect the “cyber health” of patients.

“More biomedical devices are connecting to networks than ever, and these devices are subject to some of the same vulnerabilities that impact our computer systems today,” Kelly said. “The training Montreat can offer to students on these threats will help our health systems address and manage the risks associated with these devices.”

Montreat College will feature the partnership during the college’s annual RETR3AT Cybersecurity Conference on Oct. 21. The conference provides resources for business, non-profit, and education professionals looking to strengthen the cybersecurity of their organizations through awareness, assessment, and action. This year’s keynote speaker will be Symantec Vice President of Americas Robert Potter. The conference’s lineup of speakers will also include North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, Bank of America Senior Vice President for Global Information Security Keith Gordon, the NSA’s National Information Assurance Education and Training Program Chief Barbara Lynne Clark, CVS Senior Director of Information Security Casey Marquette, and CounterHack Founder Ed Skoudis.

For more information on Montreat College’s RETR3AT Cybersecurity Conference, visit www.retr3at.com.