Make a Difference in Cyber Defense and Security

In the workplace and at home, we continue to become increasingly connected through digital devices and data. Security talent is essential for enterprises, small businesses, consumers and the government to protect these technological systems and digital information from cyber threats and attacks. This means the cybersecurity industry demands more trained and skilled professionals to secure these entities.

Grand Canyon University's (GCU) College of Science, Engineering and Technology addresses rapid technological and innovative advancements in relation to cybersecurity by offering industry-informed IT degree programs. As a graduate of IT and cyber security, you will have the preparation and education to pursue a career in:


March 1, 2019
Grand Canyon University

The Engineering and Technology Job/Internship Fair at GCU Arena brings together engineering and technology students and businesses, giving you the opportunity to meet prospective employers. Gain hands-on experience in the field and start building your resume!

March 4, 2019
Tempe, AZ

Join us at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe for this monthly speaker series with cybersecurity industry leader Dr. Rebecca Wynn. The night begins at 6 pm with a networking event and will lead into Wynn's speech on emerging technologies, trends and threats in cybersecurity. The event is free and open to the public.

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March 20, 2019
Tempe, AZ

A signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, Geeks Night Out returns for a family-friendly festival to celebrate and discover science and technology. This free event combines robotics demonstrations, solar-powered race cars and science experiments with live entertainment and food vendors to give you and your family a night to remember. The event is held from 4:30-7:30 pm at the Tempe Community Complex.

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August 3-8, 2019
Las Vegas, NV

From the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the 22nd annual Black Hat USA will provide attendees with the latest information security research, developments and trends. The event features four days of trainings that includes hands-on offensive and defensive skill-building opportunities, and two days of technical briefings and business engagement on the latest information security news, all led by international industry experts. Register today for this exciting event.

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August 8-11, 2019
Las Vegas, NV

DEF CON returns to Las Vegas August 8-11 from the Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood hotels. One of the oldest continuously running hacker conventions, this event brings together attendees from all over the world to learn about the latest trends in the hacker community through hands-on workshops and events. Learn more on how you can participate and be involved.

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Earn Your Degree in Cybersecurity

GCU's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree trains you to problem solve using technology and computer programming, while also leveraging previous experience or approved certifications. A security capstone project and applied, hands-on activities prepares you to enter the fast-growing, in-demand field of cybersecurity and information technology. You will gain an in-depth understanding and theoretical knowledge in cyber operations planning and execution, cybercrime and cyber law, as well as digital forensic investigations, security architecture, information assurance and secure system administration.

Cybersecurity Degree

Cyber Center of Excellence

Grand Canyon University's Cyber Center of Excellence (CCE) is a 2,400 square-foot cyber warfare range with breakout rooms, five pods each with eight networked computers and a dedicated server room. The CCE provides the hands-on learning environment that combines apprenticeship with real-world experiences to develop competence and knowledge. Based on a "hackers with halos" code of conduct combined with technical controls, the CCE is a place where participants can think like a hacker, but without breaking laws or compromising fundamental ethical principles.

The Cyber Center of Excellence is used for campus and community involvement including:

  • Community education and awareness
  • Collegiate Cyber Defense and National Cyber League competitions
  • Research and vulnerability discovery
  • Faculty and staff skill development

  • Red team exercises and events
  • Blue team exercises and events
  • Summer camps
  • Vendor/range joint training and research exercises

The Cyber Center of Excellence is located on Grand Canyon University's campus at 5115 N. 27th Ave., Building 66. For more information on how to access the CCE, please contact the Cyber Range Coordinators by emailing

Other points of contact include:

Learn more about GCU's security and usage of personal information in the Privacy Policy.


BrainSTEM explores the current STEM industry and what students can expect from this college. Students, faculty and experts share perspectives on the importance of STEM learning, if a STEM program is right for you and why you should earn a degree in areas such as IT and computer science. Check out the latest happenings in the college, student spotlights, industry insight and more. 

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According to a survey conducted in the United Kingdom, cybersecurity decision makers are viewed as ‘doom mongers' by fellow employees. Research showed that many cybersecurity employees have either felt negativity toward their work, or a lack of support from their firm's business leaders. As well, many also feel business leaders don't see a case for investments in cybersecurity, despite the constant threat.

IBM is on the cutting edge of cybersecurity. Recently, the multinational information technology company unveiled a custom-built, 18-wheel truck trailer containing a mobile security operations center in the United Kingdom that will be a traveling training ground for corporate teams in responding to cybersecurity threats. Nicknamed "X-Force Command", the Big Rig is part of IBM's $200 million investment in cybersecurity since 2016.

Understanding the threat that cybercrime has on national security, the White House Administration is increasing their fight with a more hands-on approach. The White House recently updated the National Cyber Strategy to include strengthening the protection of intellectual property, along with developing a "world-class cyber workforce" with improved collaboration and partnerships with cybersecurity companies.

BT, a multinational organization for cybersecurity based in the United Kingdom, has opened a new office in Singapore that will serve as a base for its continued efforts in global connectivity and cybersecurity. Aside from being a hub for cybersecurity, the office will include a "customer experience centre" that will showcase BT's global connectivity products.

With a sharp rise in cyberattacks on the healthcare industry, the US Department of Health and Human Services has created a cybersecurity unit dedicated to helping the healthcare industry combat hackers. Its mission will be to curb a wave in data breaches and ransomware attacks that have taken hold of thousands of patient medical records.

Last year, the City of Atlanta experienced a ransomware attack which interrupted multiple internal systems, including the city's payroll application. A message from the attack demanded payments of $6,800 to unlock each computer, or $51,000 to provide all the keys for affected systems. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security were involved in the investigation.

Even with major cyberattacks decreasing in recent months, there is still growing concern about the lack of cybersecurity pros and proper training in the workforce. Globally, there is a gap of almost three million cybersecurity jobs. For those with a cybersecurity position, a survey showed that 43 percent felt their organization provides inadequate security training resources.

In March 2018, Under Armour announced it had become victims of a hacker attack, which breached the accounts of 150 million users of the MyFitnessPal nutrition-tracking app. While the data that was stolen did not include payment-card information or Social Security numbers, usernames, email addresses and passwords were taken. The size of the attack made it one of the larger breaches on record.


Dr. Heather Monthie
Associate Dean
Dr. Heather Monthie is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University. She has over 20 years of experience in IT and Technology Education. Dr. Monthie has a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Lakeland College in Kohler, WI; a Master's in Teaching with a Computer Science emphasis from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI; and a PhD in Information Technology from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN.

Passionate about STEM education, Dr. Monthie has worked with pre-kindergarten students through graduate level students in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Analytics, Information Systems and other technology-related disciplines. She also served a two-year term from 2016-2018 as the co-chair for the collegiate sub-group of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). In addition, she serves on the Arizona Cybersecurity Team (ACT) created under an Executive Order from Arizona's Governor Doug Ducey, along with serving on the ACT sub-group focused on Economic and Workforce Development. Dr. Monthie has recently joined the Executive Council of CompTIA, a leading professional certification trade association for the IT industry. She is also a researcher with the Computer Science for All Initiative.


Daniel Addington
Adjunct Faculty
Daniel holds an MBA with an emphasis in Leadership and a BS in Information Technology. In addition, he has completed graduate coursework and certifications in networking, information security and assurance. He has worked in industry and academia for the past 15 years focused on the secure architecture, design and protection of critical information systems and data. His technical leadership for complex classified systems supporting the national defense has been recognized by the Department of Defense. He is a published author and currently works with a talented team of cybersecurity professionals at Grand Canyon Education, Inc.

Dwight Farris, BSIT, MsEd, PhD candidate

Dwight Farris began his successful 20-year IT career as an Electronic Technician in the U.S. Navy where he worked as a Radar and Navigation maintenance tech aboard combat ships. After many shipboard deployments, combat experience in Kuwait and an honorable discharge, he worked for the FedEx Corporation in Minnesota as a Systems Engineer, System Administrator and DBA. After nearly nine years, Farris changed companies due to reorganization, and was contracted for two years with Achieve Healthcare, a company that developed software for the hospitals and clinics. Farris' primary job was programming development in the Java language and website maintenance. After the Achieve contract ended, Farris was hired by Target Corporation as a Network Engineer where he helped to upgrade all corporate and in-store wireless network systems. Farris decided to further his education and moved to Arizona to pursue graduate degrees. His current education includes a BS in IT from the University of Phoenix, MsEd from the University of Arizona and is in the last phase of his PhD at Grand Canyon University.

Ingrid Gaviria, MIT, PhD candidate

Ingrid has a bachelor’s degree in zoology biomedical, a master’s degree in information system technology and is currently pursuing a PhD in advance management and decision science in information system. Her experience after earning her bachelor’s degree was in the pharmaceutical field while working in companies such as Baxter in the diagnostic department and Detroit Children Hospital Immunology Research for bone marrow transplant. After graduating with a master’s in IT, Ingrid worked on designing databases in companies such as Nationwide, along with securing and maintaining web servers and acting as a support analyst in companies such as Dell. Ingrid has taught all levels of IT classes from hardware to software, ethical hacking, computer forensics, networks, servers and programming languages, as well as teaching summer camps in cybersecurity for high school students in Miami Dade County Public Schools. She holds certifications in the field of IT including COMPTIA (A+, N+, Security+) CCIA (Cisco Certify Instructor) and Microsoft certification and is currently involved in blockchain technology in cryptography.

She also has set up a nonprofit organization to help battered women by training them in Microsoft Office and to later obtain jobs. She believes helping others is the most amazing job anyone could have. “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all,” Mark 9:35.

Deborah Haralson, BSIT, MaEd, MCSE
Deborah Haralson discovered her true passion for IT while going to school for engineering. She began to work with Windows, DOS and Macintosh network clients, graduating to network servers and WAN technologies. In over 25 years of experience in the IT field, she has worked for companies such as Honeywell and MicroAge, among many others. Haralson has proficiency in a wide array of hardware, software and operating systems, along with an occasional stint as a PBX & ACD admin, DBA, trainer, webmaster and application programmer. She has also worked with Microsoft server products since the original NT 3.1 beta. As a published author and co-author for several technology books, Haralson enjoys finding creative ways to teach and learn. She earned her BS in IT and MA in adult education.

Al Kelly, MCIS
Al Kelly is proud of a distinguished 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, where he worked as a jet engine mechanic on various aircraft, in field training as a master aircraft trainer and as a security officer. After retirement, Kelly worked for a privately owned computer training company in Las Vegas and moved on to head the IT office of the largest title escrow company in Nevada. Afterward, Kelly returned to the aircraft training field, working for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company and later Boeing in the Middle East. In 2001, Kelly spent over 13 years in Arizona teaching IT and security programs as a professor at UAT. His education includes a BS from Embry Riddle University, an AS from the Community College of the Air Force and an MCIS from the University of Phoenix.

Khester Kendrick, MBA, MSCS
Khester is a veteran with 20+ years of experience in the telecommunications industry with extensive knowledge in wireless communications and information security. He began his career in the Army working on various electronic communication platforms and served as the intelligence and security non-commissioned officer in charge. He has worked for various companies, including T-Mobile and AT&T, where he supervised network optimization across the northwestern United States as well as other projects to include the transition from 3G to 4G and again to 5G wireless platforms. Having received both his master’s in business and cybersecurity with honors, he continues his education at the doctoral level pursuing a PhD in information technology with an emphasis on cybersecurity.

Scott McCrea
Mr. McCrea is an accomplished professional with extensive experience developing and deploying state of the art secure information systems, architectures and certification and accreditation products from DoD 8500.2 MAC-III to DCID 6/3 PL-5. He is a first line program troubleshooter bringing secure operations and mission critical technologies to numerous Missile Defense Agency, Joint Service and Intelligence Agencies. He possesses in-depth knowledge of system security techniques and methods, and ensures that systems deployed are not only operational, but meet stringent security requirements; he also manages information systems certification and accreditation for numerous programs supporting Department of Defense customers. He is a results oriented team leader with 23 years of experience in program management and implementation of DoD Information Assurance and NetOps capabilities--provides responsive, secure and interoperable net-centric solutions necessary to securely operate within the Global Information Grid in support of the Secretary of Defense, Combatant Commanders, Joint/Combined Task Forces, Services and Intelligence Agencies in engineering and system design and integration, including 17+years in information systems security technology, 9+ years in project management, including consulting, training, cost and schedule control, supervision of 5 to 20 technical support personnel and subcontract management.

John Wilson, BS/BIS, MBA-TM

John Wilson began his career as a field service technician and has over 40 years of experience working on technology ranging from remote job entry equipment, mid-range, mainframe and virtualized distributed client-server networking systems. He has spent the last 25 years specializing in network performance reporting, tuning and proactive availability monitoring and event ticketing. He has worked for ITT, Genicom, Bellsouth, AT&T and Integrated Research as well as owning his own consulting business offering various levels of system administration and maintenance for small and medium businesses in the Phoenix area. John has worked with every version of MS-DOS from 1.0 through 6.0, as well as Windows 1.0 through 10 and all versions of Windows NT Server and Workstation since version 3.1. John has held several roles including technician, trainer, programmer, DBA, technical architect and project manager. John holds a BS in business information systems and MBA specializing in technology management.