LSA Technology Services Launches Cybersecurity Fellowship Program

LSA Technology Services launched a Cybersecurity Fellowship program to invest in cybersecurity expertise.
by Matt Bidlingmeyer, Infrastructure & Security Manager

With cybersecurity becoming an increasingly essential capability, both for the institution and as people consider possible career paths, LSA Technology Services launched a fellowship program with a focus on cybersecurity. Tailored for LSA Technology Services staff members with an interest in the vital field of cybersecurity, the program offers participants the opportunity to collaborate closely with the LSA Technology Services Security Team over a period of five months, gaining hands-on experience and expertise in the field.

At its core, the program is focused on developing the excellent talent currently within the department by providing real world experience in the cybersecurity field. At the same time, they will help the college tackle a variety of security tasks and projects. Upon completing their fellowship rotation, they will return to their core team within LSA Technology Services where they will serve as a local resource for security-related questions and concerns.

Staff members selected as Fellows will begin the program experience by engaging with the manager of the LSA Technology Services Security Team to delve into core security capabilities. This includes an overview of relevant university policies, common phrases and terminology, security philosophy, and the various areas of challenges within a higher education environment, along with additional information about career development opportunities. Following this introduction to cybersecurity, the Fellow will be paired with senior cybersecurity professionals to explore in greater depth the specific tools and processes used at the university. 

Once their training is complete, Fellows will work alongside the Security Team, contributing to security projects and addressing support tickets. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to work with partners across campus, such as ITS Information Assurance (IA), whose support of this program is highly appreciated. 

Brent Kellenberger, LSA Technology Services Desktop Support Specialist, is the first staff member going through the program. Kellenberger stated, “The Security Fellowship has been a great opportunity for getting better acquainted with the data security processes of the school and the systems used to implement them. The opportunity to work with the existing data security team, get questions answered, and receive additional insight has been incredibly helpful. The experience has greatly increased my understanding of the data security environment at U-M, as well as my general understanding of data security in large organizations."

Amy Peters, LSA Technology Services Research Computing and Infrastructure Director says that, “one of the best parts of the fellowship is that it was designed from within LSA Technology Services. Security and Desktop leaders knew that partnership and additional staffing was the only solution for staying ahead of vulnerability mitigations.” Since many of the LSA Technology Services Desktop staff already have an interest in cybersecurity, the fellowship creates internal development opportunities. Peters is excited about the ability to “build security expertise and redeploy that expertise back to Desktop teams to grow (and share) the overall security expertise across our organization. It's an excellent example of our Value of having one another's back, and an example of the ITS IA Value of security being a shared responsibility.”

The fellowship program is completing its pilot run this calendar year and expects to run again next year with an expanded pool of applicants.

Release Date: 05/06/2024
Category: Innovate Newsletter
Tags: Technology Services
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