Columbus State opens new center for cyber security

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University is preparing students to protect the world against cyber security criminals.

The school’s brand new multi-million dollar TSYS Center for Cyber Security opened Monday at a time when the personal information for nearly half of all American is at risk from the recent Equifax breach.

TSYS gave the school $5 million back in 2015 and Monday CSU unveiled where half of the money went to.

Both the company and school hope the facility will prepare students in a field they say lacks qualified professionals.

“It’s the final step in building out a cyber security program,” Chief Information Officer Patty Watson said.

CSU President Christopher Markwood says more than 1,000 former students have come through the halls of TSYS as employees. He sees this as an opportunity to further expand that relationship.

“Well our goal now is to very specifically train students to work in the field of cyber security,” Markwood said. “We have had some programs growing and now we really hope to expand that to meet a nationwide need but a very targeted need here in Columbus, Georgia.”

A nationwide need for cyber security comes on the heels of the recent Equifax breach exposing the personal information of 145 million Americans.

Watson tells News 3 solving that need starts by teaching students.

“If we can get our students at a very young age excited about technology, we can get more students into programs like this at CSU and hopefully more people that are willing to stay in Columbus and work in companies like TSYS,” she said.

TSYS sends team members out to schools in Muscogee, Harris, and Russell Counties to educate them on technology and information security.

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