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:

  • Information Technology: The 2015 median pay for computer and information systems managers was $131,600 annually. The job outlook between 2014 and 2024 is projected to increase by 15 percent (much faster than average).
  • Cybersecurity: The 2015 median pay for information security analysts was $90,120 annually. The job outlook between 2014 and 2024 is projected to increase by 18 percent (much faster than average).
  • The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Career and Studies (NICCS) lists various types of job opportunities in cyber security.


Deadline is August 1, 2017 at 5:00pm PDT

Apply for the 2017 Diversity Scholarship to help cover the costs of attending the 14th IEEE Symposium on Visualization for Cyber Security. This scholarship award covers the full week registration plus a small stipend to help offset travel costs.

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Saturday, June 24

Join the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range from 11 am - 4 pm for a day of exploration into the world of cyber defense. Every day, they are developing well-trained cyber patriots through self-paced training, organic mentoring and real-world experience. This event is open to anyone curious about cyber security including all ages and skill levels.

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Thursday, March 2

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At our TEDxGrandCanyonUniversity event, a completely student-planned, organized and executed TEDx, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection. Dr. Roméo Farinacci, program director for GCU's Information Technology and Cyber Security degree programs, will present "Why Cybersecurity is Important." This event is run through The Project Management Club on campus and is led by 14 students, all managers in a specific field, to coordinate a large-scale event. This provides the students with an opportunity to gain real life experience, learn what they enjoy doing and most importantly, to be a part of something great!

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Tuesday, March 7

At Lunch and Learn: Logicalis Security: Securing Your Digital Way of Life, Ron Temske, vice president of Security Solutions presents on how to protect your organization from cybersecurity horror stories caused by things like ransomware, malware, viruses, etc.


Thursday, March 9

Brandon Gunter, senior manager of Information Security Services at Moss Adams Advisory Services, will discuss some of the industry and governmental standards and regulations, as well as how organizations will need to change the way they do business to meet the new standard.

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Thursday, March 30

Learn about "Device Security - Mobile Devices, Wearable, IoT." Lunch will be provided. Registration deadline is March 20.


Tuesday, April 25 - Thursday, April 27

The eCrime 2017 Symposium on Electronic Crime Research will look at the operational challenges and development of common resources and best practices for first responders and forensic professionals. In addition, the conference will dive into current research projects and future areas of interest for cybercrime investigations, forensic techniques and infrastructure defense.

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Sunday, June 11

Join fellow cybersecurity, risk and information technology professionals and enthusiasts for Information Security and IT risk-related topics, networking and prizes.


Friday, Nov. 17

The Phoenix Tech-Security Conference features 40-60 vendor exhibits and 8-12 educational speaker sessions discussing current tech-security issues such as cloud security, email and social media security, VoIP, LAN security, wireless security, USB drives security and more. This conference qualifies for CPE credits.

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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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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

Cybersecurity in the News

This predictions report takes a five-year look ahead at the cybersecurity marketplace. Key insiders share insights into the expected cyber threat landscape and likely response from the security industry. Further predictions include changing types of threat, behaviors of attackers, targets and industry response between now and 2020.

FireEye offers a proprietary security platform designed to provide real-time threat protection against next-generation cyber attacks for enterprises and governments worldwide. FireEye Labs powers the FireEye Cyber Threat Map that identifies top countries and industries affected by cyber attacks and the number of current international attacks today.

This report delves into the technical innovation, global cost and growing industry of fighting cybercrime, a growing revenue-generating business. McAfee also reports on AutoRun worm, a botnet created by cybercriminals to change form with every infection, while avoiding detection. Global law enforcement took down the control servers through a collaborative and joint effort.

The Symantec Official Blog reports that exploit kits (EKs), including Magnitude and Nuclear, started to exploit a critical vulnerability in Flash Player (CVE-2016-1019). In April 2016, Adobe released an emergency patch addressing this confusion vulnerability. Downloading the current version of Adobe Flash Player and Symantec and Norton detection systems can help protect against threats.

Our U.S. military's campaign of cyber attacks against ISIS continue to aggressively target individuals and glean intelligence in support of capturing and killing more ISIS fighters. These cyber operations against ISIS disrupt ISIS's encrypted chats, implant viruses in terrorists' computers and mine machines to launch real-world strikes, according to the Daily Beast.

In pursuit of providing STEM-focused education, GCU partnered with the Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance (ACTRA) to foster the development of GCU's growing IT degree programs. This team effort endeavors to give students pursuing cybersecurity a competitive edge with well-informed curriculum, hands-on experiences and strategic industry knowledge.

Known as the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix is now emerging with a new moniker: "Cyber Security Valley." Phoenix business leaders created Cyber Security Valley to leverage higher education and local talent, increase access to capital and ensure entrepreneurs have the resources to thrive. As a growing hub for cyber solutions, Phoenix takes on the epidemics of cyberwarfare, intellectual property and identify theft, and data breach.

An American cyber force is a hot topic of debate. Task & Purpose dissects both sides of opposition, but breaks it down in this way, "warfare has changed so much that it necessitates a unified cyber capability." This article explores the pros and cons of our military developing an independent, unified cyber force and cyber warriors to fight and defend in cyberspace.

As corporations and the government continue to get attacked in the cyber domain, the cybersecurity industry faces a severe shortage of professionals who can defend against these threats. Cybersecurity is a growing in-demand and high-income field, as well as a challenging and exciting profession. And STEM education is on a mission to produce these professionals.

It's important for individuals, businesses and others to be involved in their own cyber security, and National Cyber Security Awareness Month- a Department of Homeland Security-administered campaign held every October- is perhaps the most appropriate time to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and on doing your part to secure your own devices, networks and data.


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.

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.

Heather Monthie, PhD
Assistant Dean and Associate Professor
Heather Monthie, PhD, is an assistant dean and associate professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. With more than 20 years of IT and IT education experience, Dr. Monthie focuses on developing technology programs and highly skilled technical professionals who are prepared meet workplace demands. Prior to education, she worked in various corporate settings and healthcare IT. Dr. Monthie has a BA in computer science from Lakeland College in Kohler, WI, an MA in teaching from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI, and a PhD in information technology from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN.

Isac Artzi, PhD
Associate Professor
Isac Artzi, PhD, teaches computer science and conducts research on adaptive algorithms and autonomous agents. Dr. Artzi's career spans 30 years of work, research, military training and international travel. Dr. Artzi's achievements include his C Programming class with over 32,000 students in 142 countries, Silicon Valley startups with two software patents, satellite communications in Israel and Thailand and educational research in Michigan. He holds a dual BS in mathematics and computer science from Ben Curion University in Israel, an MS in computer science from Michigan State University, a PhD in instructional design from combined Michigan State and Capella University programs and a data science specialization certificate from Johns Hopkins University.

Jeffrey Griffith
Jeffrey Griffith worked in the Aerospace and Telecommunications industry for 28 years prior to joining GCU. He started as an Engineer and rose thru the ranks eventually achieving the title of Senior Vice President where he led a global P&L and organization of over 35,000 Engineers and Scientists. Jeffrey and his teams have built the world's largest Voice, Video and Data Networks to include Optical, Satellite, Wireless and Wireline for Global Services providers such as AT&T, China Mobile and Telefonica to name a few. Jeffrey has visited nearly every major city in the world and has a first-hand appreciation for different cultures, values and beliefs. Jeffrey has a BS in Computer Engineering from Wright State University in Ohio and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

J. Luke Kanuchok, MS
J. Luke Kanuchok is a faculty member for computer science. After earning a BS in computer engineering from Taylor University in 2001 and a MS in physics from Ball State University in 2004, he relocated to the Phoenix area to work at Lockheed Martin as a software developer. When Lockheed Martin relocated out of the Valley, the Lord opened up the door for Kanuchok to start at GCU as one of the first two faculty for the computer science and information technology programs. Since starting his teaching career in fall 2014, he has taught PHY-102, PHY-111, PHY-112, MAT-134, CST-110, CST-200, CST-210 and CST-215. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, playing games, programming and working with all kinds of technology.

Lydia Fritz, MS
Assistant Professor
Lydia Fritz teaches and researches in computer science. Her teaching interests include programming in Java, C++ and C#, and research in the areas of data structures, process-driven design and discrete mathematics. Prior to joining GCU in 2016, she taught computer science for 14 years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). At UNCG, Professor Fritz was academic advisor to the NSF-funded Computing Corps, focused on increasing the participation of women, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities in computing disciplines. Fritz is also a regular reader and leader at the College Board's computer science AP exam reading. Professor Fritz holds an MS in computer science and a BA in English literature, both from UNCG.

Mark Reha
Mark Reha teaches C#/.NET, Digital Electronics, Introduction to C, Introduction to Java, Advanced Java, Advanced Android Programing and the Senior Software Development Capstone Project. He has also conducted corporate training and training classes on cloud computing, requirements to software design methodology, version control systems and other technical topics. Graduating from Devry University in electrical engineering led Reha to software engineering, software architecture and technical management. Throughout his 35-year career, Reha has worked as a test engineer, software engineer, software architect, engineering manager and director of software. Reha also holds five patents, has written an eBook and published several iPhone and Android applications.

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.

Shad Sluiter
Shad Sluiter teaches computer science, programming and IT courses at GCU. He earned two BA degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Northern Iowa. Later he earned a Masters of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to working at GCU, Shad worked as the IT director for Clyde Public Schools in Ohio, Quaker Oats in Iowa and Mount Mercy University. Later he taught computer programming and web development at Westview High School in Avondale, AZ. In addition to technology work, Shad and his family served in Mexico as missionaries and church planters for seven years with El Centro Evangelico.