SCC Joins Fight Against Hackers

Sampson Community College is well known for its law enforcement programs which train future officers to fight crime. What you may not know is that SCC is preparing to take the fight to criminals in cyberspace as well.

SCC Information Systems Department Chair, Nathan McKee, invited a guest speaker to his classes this week with the intent of doing just that.

Guy Bass, who is an Academy Technical Lead from cyber security company Palo Alto Networks, discussed various topics including ransomware and the associated use of Bit Coin for transactions. Today’s hackers target businesses, government and individual users. It often seems as if there is a major breach of security reported by a company every week.

“The eventual goal is to inspire and train students to be able to identify hackers, recognize the cyber-attack lifestyle and be able to prevent breaches like the recent Equifax intrusion,” said McKee. He also notes that more than two million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled this year alone.

Palo Alto develops products to stop attackers before the attackers breach the system and they build cyber security platforms to include firewalls, making Bass the perfect guest instructor for the day.

Bass noted the growth of Palo Alto to 5000 employees at this time, as well as their world-wide training operations. He encouraged the students by discussing the requirements to get a job in the field to include a variety of certifications which are very valuable.

McKee is working with Mr. Bass to incorporate Palo Alto’s available courseware and products into his own college courses to support the course objectives and student learning outcomes. This will allow students to gain experience with Palo Alto products in addition to the other IT systems that he is already using in his courses.

There is a $500 NCCIA scholarship available to IT students who apply for it. Students are encouraged to meet with Nathan McKee, the Information Systems Technology  Department Chair, to discuss how to apply for the scholarship from Palo Alto as well as the summer work experience both of which are highly competitive.

If you have any questions about the Information Systems Technology Degree program or any of the certificates within the program, please contact Nathan McKee at 910-592-8081 extension: 7011 or you can email him at