UH Moment

UH Moment: Art Conklin, Faculty Expert On Cyber Security

“I’ve been in the cyber security arena for more than 15 years. I’m here because I want to make the next generation of tech workers.”

Professor Art Conklin is director of the UH Center for Information Security Research and Education and a sought after expert on cyber security. At the College of Technology, faculty like Conklin have expertise not just in preventing data breaches, but it keeping things running in spite of those.

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“Computers can sense a tree branch hitting an electric line and reroute electricity. Computers figured out how to reroute electricity,” he said. “So we are becoming incredibly resilient because of these systems, but now we have new threats in connection with attackers. How do we make it resilient to that?”

Conklin is the principal investigator for a $1 million federal grant to improve security for critical energy infrastructure, like water, oil and electricity, and has testified before state and federal agencies on information security. Conklin says it’s an emerging area of focus for corporations…and universities.

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“When I got her nine years ago we had less than 2,000 students. Today we’re slightly over six,” he said. “I’ve seen a tremendous increase in growth year over year because understanding and being able to do things in technology leads to career opportunities.”

Conklin, who teaches courses in secure software design, control systems security and security risk analysis, says students who are informed and skilled in information security will succeed if they stay ahead of the curve.

“The number one thing a student needs to learn is that change happens. What you learn today as a foundation you’ll have to learn how to deal with it tomorrow under different circumstances. It’s a state of continuous learning and continuous growing against a set of principles.” 

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Art Conklin is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.

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