VCU cyber security students in demand

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's been a month since General Electric announced it would bring hundreds of new six-figure jobs to Henrico County as part of an information technology center, and we're learning more about one of the reasons why.

This week, we met with a cyber security class at VCU, to see what they're learning that makes their skills in such high demand.

It's a big day for David Coss, who, on Monday, gave his dissertation before a room packed with faculty and fellow students. The topic: information privacy; a major concern for companies large and small.

"They're protecting patents and intellectual property," Coss said.

General Electric is looking for people like David, who's part of the cyber security program offered through the School of Business.

Dr. Gurpreet Dhillon is the program's co-director.

"They think outside the box. We don't want people who are too entrenched in their old ways of thinking," Dhillon said.

The students learn how to write the latest security policies that keep company secrets in and hackers out.

Karan Puri is pursuing his MBA.

"The moment your customer feels that they cannot trust your company with their information, that's it. You've lost the game right there," Puri said.

Even the government is getting in on it. Thursday, the White House unveiled its own cyber security plan. It requires companies to let customers know when their personal information has been stolen. But this new generation of young minds is learning how to prevent those thefts from ever happening, and that's one reason why General Electric is making a major investment in metro Richmond.

"Managing security is an art and a science," Dhillon said, adding, "When they go out into the market, they're well-rounded students."

General Electric is creating its information technology center in Innsbrook. Approximately 50 jobs were available when the announcement was made in April. The company has plans to hire about 200 within a few years.

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