Students, National Security Agency member discuss cybersecurity

Jerod Ryan, systems engineer and National Security Agency intelligence officer spoke with students about the NSA and opportunities for collaboration on Sept. 18, 2019. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Systems engineer and National Security Agency intelligence officer Jerod Ryan visited Kansas State on Wednesday to converse with computer science students.

Ryan has been in the NSA for 15 years and, since November 2017, works in the Space Domain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ryan began his lecture with a brief telling of his personal background and experience, eventually discussing ideas about cybersecurity with the audience.

Ryan asked the audience thought-provoking questions during his lecture.

“What is important to you?” Ryan said. “Is it protecting your phone? Protecting your data? Does social media scare you all?”

Many members of the audience were students with interest in cybersecurity. Senior in computer science and Cyber Defense Club member Nick Porsch said he is interested in national security because he is looking for jobs he can apply the skills he’s learned and focus on securing lock systems.

Ryan concluded his talk by providing words of encouragement.

“You are all on the forefront,” Ryan said. “Being here today is always special for me to see how much more things I don’t know, because I can assure you the knowledge you have today surpasses the knowledge I had back when I was a computer science major.”

Ryan also strongly encouraged attending the All University Career Fair next week in Bramlage Coliseum.