Dr. Abarca named to new Texas Council

Eddie Puente/ Associate Editor

Dr. David Abarca

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) announced that David Abarca, DMC information security program director and assistant professor of Computer Science, has been named a member of a new group of professionals in a statewide council.

The Cybersecurity, Education, and Economic Development Council is a new council whose goals, according to Senate Bill 988 enacted in the 82nd regular legislative session, are “improving the infrastructure of this state’s cybersecurity operations with existing resources and through partnerships between government, business, and institutions of higher education and examining specific actions to accelerate the growth of cybersecurity as an industry in this state.”

“Of the nine individuals on the Council, five members are from higher education with a Senate bill requirement of three institutions represented with one member being from a Texas community college,” said Abarca; “We’re THAT institution.”

Also included are Frederick Chang and Gregory White from the University of Texas-San Antonio. Abarca said the Council’s mission is to increase opportunities for the cybersecurity industry in Texas and ensure that the academic needs of this industry’s workers are in place.

“The council will work with business leaders in cybersecurity to target the knowledge and skills required to successfully continue meeting the contemporary needs of the industry,” he said.

Senator Leticia Van de Putte authored the Senate Bill 988 and Representative Lyle Larson sponsored it in the House.  “We are pleased to hear that such fine people have been selected for the council,” said Van de Putte. A pharmacist for more than 32 years, she represents a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County.

A former-five term state representative, she is now serving her fifth term as a Texas State Senator for District 26. “The council will not only enhance the security of the State’s critical infrastructure, it will promote growth of the cyber security industry in Texas.”

The Department of Information Resources (DIR) provides statewide leadership and oversight for management of government information and communications technology. DIR’s mission is to provide technology leadership, solutions, and value to all levels of Texas government and education to enable and facilitate the fulfillment of their core missions.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. According to the NCSAM website, there are three steps that users can take to stay safer and more secure online: Stop, Think, Connect.

Before using the Internet, everyone should take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems. Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety or your family’s. After taking precautions, enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

Abarca received his Associate of Arts at DMC and his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Education from the University of Phoenix.


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