Westview High School Students Promote Cybersecurity
MARTIN (October) – One of the fundamental standards of Web Design is to operate safely on the Internet through proper adherence to cyber laws and security measures. Westview’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and students taking the web design course heard from experts in the field during October, Cybersecurity Month.
As part of the curriculum in studying Web Design, Westview students are expected to apply standards across multiple areas: web site design, interacting with potential clients, assessing types of websites, and ensuring compliance with laws both domestically and internationally, notes Westview business teacher Kimberly Elliott.
With the added issues of the Covid pandemic, students are also learning new measures in using the Internet to get the job done, whether it be virtual business transactions, meetings, or field trips.
“We are becoming more dependent on Internet-based options,” she said. “This is the future these students will experience, their new norm.”
To provide some insight into how various vocations utilize the Internet to perform their jobs, Westview invited individuals from two different aspects of Internet usage to share information about cybersecurity as well as how the Internet satisfies a critical need in their job performance.
Sgt. T.J. King of the Madison County Sherriff’s Department Violent Crimes Unit visited Martin on October 21. In his presentation, he focused on how students should be safe on the Internet and shared anecdotes of certain issues he has encountered relative to their age group.
King provided all students with some useful tips for social media interaction as it relates to today and their future.
“Once it is on the Internet, it is always on the Internet,” he stressed repeatedly, as he noted difficulties offenders face with future college acceptance, getting that dream job, and career advancements. He pointed out that companies and institutions are paying individuals to look into a candidate’s social media presence when considering personnel for their businesses.
The second guest came via Zoom on October 28. Carrie Miesner, Senior Project Manager, Implementations with Q2 shared from her perspective as part of the global organization that imagined a single platform integrating all of a financial institution’s legacy technology.
She explained that since 2005, Q2 has been designing and delivering software that creates meaningful financial experiences and supports lasting customer relationships.
“Today, one out of 10 digital banking customers in America is using Q2’s single platform to bank,” she said, adding nearly 30 percent of the country’s top 100 banks find the power, flexibility, and performance of the platform to be key to their digital strategy.
Miesner works out of the Austin, Texas, headquarters. While prior to the pandemic she was able to work from home a large percentage of the time, some travel was required. Since March 2020 they have been limited in travel and now perform most all their work via Zoom or other similar software applications to meet the needs of their customers.
Miesner holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a minor in coding that helped to set the stage for this chapter in her career history. Upon graduation from Murray State, she went into banking at a locally-owned bank. While there, she worked in a variety of areas giving her skills in the online area of banking where she said she learned the pitfalls, security issues and needs of the banking industry.
When she relocated due to her husband’s work, she was able to land a job with one of the online banking firms she had worked with here in her new home state of Kansas. She continued to learn the needs of her customers – banks, credit unions and other financial institutions – as they related to using the Internet to do their banking.
Students were told to think about the various activities they use apps and online platforms to complete. She shared that the growing dependence on our Apple and Android products to do traditionally handled face-to-face transactions and activities impacted her decision to pursue her current career with Q2. This dependence has also led to more stringent guidelines for security as it relates to personal and financial information. She shared that the shift to Zoom post-March 2020 and other similar platforms and their potential to be hacked or allow others to “listen in,” caused the company to step up its firewall security.
As she talked about the various needs for cybersecurity, platform development, and basic website development she offered a variety of suggestions for the students to keep in mind as they work to build their own websites.
Knowing how to ask the right questions of your customer is key to good development, she explained. She suggested they create a basic form that would give guidance for all types of sites to be developed based on a set of questions. She also shared that the IT field is much easier to enter than it once was with proper education, credentials and training and a “willingness to put yourself out there you can work from basically anywhere for anyone.”
Miesner’s presentation was followed by a pizza luncheon enjoyed by 26 of the Web Design and FBLA members who were also gifted with fun swag.
“While it was not quite the same as getting out of school for the day, they did enjoy the special treatment afforded them for this event,” Elliott said.