Cybersecurity Perspectives of a Community College President

The Cybersecurity Readiness Podcast Series

Feb 15 2023 • 44 mins

In this episode, Pamela Senegal, President, Piedmont Community College, shares several best practices, including having an information technology presence in each of the college-wide committees. I had the pleasure of meeting Pamela at a cybersecurity symposium organized by the World View Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Charle LaMonica, the Director of UNC's World View Program, also shared her thoughts and perspectives during this very engaging discussion. Driven by the belief that students and instructors must actively engage in cybersecurity governance discussions, she and her team organized a conference to create such knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Time Stamps

00:49 -- To set the stage and get things rolling, Charle please provide listeners with an overview of the symposium.

03:56 -- I'd like to welcome Pamela Senegal, the President of Piedmont Community College; Pamela, share with the listeners some highlights of your professional career.

06:07 -- Pam, how do you relate to these cybersecurity challenges plaguing community colleges?

11:52 -- How do you manage providing oversight to cybersecurity governance?

16:04 -- Charle, I'd like you to reflect on the cybersecurity symposium. What did you expect the conference to be? And what did it turn out?

20:44 -- What are your thoughts on the out-of-the-box methods (such as the cybersecurity carnival hosted by the University of Notre Dame) of making cybersecurity awareness and training a fun experience?

25:43 -- Sometimes, you learn best when you fail. What do you think, Pam?

30:47 -- It is very important to go beyond your current domain and learn what others are doing in their respective fields. What are your thoughts, Charlie and Pamela?

34:34 -- What are your thoughts about having a proactive and hands-on top management team?

39:13 -- I'd like to give both of you an opportunity to share some final words with the listeners,

Memorable Pamela Senegal Quotes/Statements

"Every president, every CIO, at every community college, we all have a card; we printed them in several different formats -- poster size versions, business card versions. When you believe you are experiencing a cyber attack, you call that number 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and it will activate an entire team of resources to help your institution recover."

"Our systems are set such that you cannot install unauthorized software that has not gone through a proper vetting process. And so things are a little less convenient. But it's a trade-off. And I think it's an important trade-off we've made, where the benefits outweigh the negatives."

"We're at a point now as an organization where I don't know how we would survive, quite frankly, without that CIO role being one of my direct reports."

Memorable Charle LaMonica Quotes/Statements

"Good educators constantly want to learn."

"One of the interesting takeaways (from the cybersecurity symposium) was when an instructor walked up to me at the end of the day and said, "I really thought this was going to be IT. But I learned how important it is for students to know as much about cybersecurity as I learned today."

"If we don't start listening to what students want and also hear about the world they're creating for themselves, we're all missing out."

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