Computer Science Faculty Member Presiding Over Coastal Bend Special Interest Group as Part of FBI’s InfraGard Program
Article by: Michael Bratten
Dr. David Abarca, assistant professor of computer science and Information Security Program director at Del Mar College, was recently recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to lead a local group devoted to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Abarca presided over his first meeting of the Coastal Bend Special Interest Group (SIG) of the FBI’s Houston InfraGard program today (Feb. 24) at Del Mar College.
“I’m honored that others recognize my contribution to cyber security in Texas,” said Abarca, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and six-year member of the Texas Cybersecurity, Education and Economic Development Council. “This is a great opportunity for me to serve the country. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
Created just over 20 years ago, InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector. It’s an association of people from business and industry, academic institutions, law enforcement agencies and other fields who are dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States.
InfraGard has 84 chapters with more than 39,000 members nationwide. At chapter meetings, members discuss threats and other issues that impact their organizations, as well as best practices.
“Cyber security affects everybody,” said Special Agent Angela Haun of the FBI Houston Division, which encompasses the Coastal Bend region. “InfraGard is a great way for the FBI to work with local communities and enhance the security of the country.”
Today’s kickoff meeting included a special showing of “Made in America: Defending Our Technology,” one of a series of FBI-produced movies focusing on counterintelligence threats to U.S. companies.
Abarca’s leadership in cyber security casts a positive light on Del Mar’s Information Security Program, said College President Mark Escamilla, PhD, who welcomed attendees to today’s meeting.
“Del Mar College is a great training ground for future cyber professionals, and thanks to Dr. Abarca, we’re part of the cyber security discussion at the regional, state and national levels,” said Escamilla.
There is room for more members in the Coastal Bend SIG, Abarca said. Membership is open to information technology managers and security personnel who are willing to actively engage in information sharing and collaboration.
Candidates must be age 18 or older, U.S. citizens and willing to undergo an FBI security risk assessment. To join, go to www.infragard.org/.
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