Glendale Community College launches Security Operations Center

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Glendale Community College has just opened the Gaucho Security Operations Center (GSOC). The GSOC was created to provide cybersecurity students with paid internships and real-world experience in monitoring, detecting, and informing against potential security threats and breaches.

It is the first operations center of its kind in the Maricopa Community College District, as well as in Arizona, to use a collaborative hub model giving back to the community by offering cyber as a service.

The GSOC serves the growing need for cybersecurity professionals in Arizona. Interns will receive advanced skill development as Security Operations Center analysts and engineers while helping to monitor, detect, and inform against security breaches on clients’ networks and other operations. The program will provide competency-based platforms while creating career-ready pipelines for students while serving the community.

Andrew Nichols, lead engineer at GSOC, joined Arizona Horizon to tell us more about the program.

“We partner with small, rural communities in Arizona that don’t have the resources to have their own cybersecurity monitor and we bring in interns and we monitor those communities for free,” Nichols said.

Nichols works with the clients and looks at their network infrastructure, and decides the best place to put sensors, agents, and log connectors in order to collect data.

“While rural communities have excellent support for their IT infrastructure, they do not have those resources to have someone watching their back,” Nichols said.

The biggest threat is ransomware, an adversary will get into someone’s network tricking employees to get their credentials, according to Nichols. It gives the attacker access to the system and they will go through and encrypt everything they can.

The employee has to pay the attacker to get their information back, or their data will get released.

Andrew Nichols, Lead engineer at GSOC

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