OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – UW Oshkosh wants their students to not only prepare for the worst when it comes to cyberattacks but also want to prevent them from ever happening.

Michael Patton, the Director of the newly established Cybersecurity Center of Excellence said, “Students can experiment, extra circular activities, where if they want to work with some malware outside of course work, just curious what it looks like they can come in here and deal with the real stuff.”

Jerry Eastman, the CEO of Wisconsin Cyber Threat Response Alliance said, “You can be a great system administrator and not understand how bad guys hack websites and get into your system.”

The equipment in the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence will not only help just UW Oshkosh students but will also help members of the community better protect themselves from cyber security attacks.

Our goal here isn’t to make everybody a cyber security expert but to take everyone’s knowledge and ramp it up one notch and if we can do that we are going to be much better positioned to defend against cyber security attacks,” said Patton.

Students say this lab is a draw to the school.

Sean cannon, an incoming freshman said, “Not a lot of other schools that I know of have a lab like this. So you’d be able to come here, have the real hands-on experience.” 58

Patton and Eastman both warn against oversharing online and responding to suspicious emails because hackers can use that to steal your identity. They also suggest frequently checking your child’s credit or freezing it all together to prevent their identities from being stolen.