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Cyber Security Center

Cyber security is essential to effectively protecting our economy, businesses, organizations, and private information. There is a shortage of skilled workers capable of defending against these attacks. This places our digital information and infrastructure at risk. Cybercrime is increasing at a rapid pace creating the need for trained cybersecurity professionals.

Our IT: Cyber Security program provides students with the ability to not only administer networks but also to secure those networks and conduct penetration tests to ensure they are not vulnerable to attacks. Students work with faculty who maintain current positions with local technology companies and perform cybersecurity work on a daily basis. Faculty affiliations allow students to have direct contact with local organizations when pursuing internship opportunities. Students cover aspects of the CompTIA Linux+, Net+, Security+ and A+, Wireshark Certified Network Analyst, and the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker certifications.

Discover our IT: Cyber Security Degree

IT: Cyber Security Program Objectives

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of Operating Systems, Networking, Data Communication, and Database Technology.
  2. Demonstrate various techniques for preventing unauthorized attacks to computer networks and apply measures for minimizing the damage caused by network intruders.
  3. Evaluate and implement the needed information security controls for any information system and provide an assurance framework where the security processes or controls, or both, are embedded in information systems technologies.
  4. Understand professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities.
  5. Apply strong communication and critical thinking skills including reading, writing, organizing, evaluating, problem-solving and presentation skills.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a part of the PC4A Consortium. PC4A is comprised of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and six community colleges in Pennsylvania. The goal of PC4A is to support and strengthen the cyber security workforce in the United States of America.

The PC4A Project is proudly funded by the US Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research. Click here to learn more about PC4A.


We are a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE2Y) as designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Click here to learn more about what this designation means through our official press release.

Penn Highlands has a strong working relationship through articulation agreements and more with Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) that allow our Cyber Security program students the ability to attend any of their events.

Click here for a full listing of available events.

Cybersecurity Lab Guide for Educators
Khan Academy – Cybersecurity
OverTheWire – Wargames

Want to see what is happening in the world of Cyber Security? Check out these links and websites for current news and trends:

Leisa Zuccolotto
Leisa Zuccolotto began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2002. She teaches courses in Networking. Ms. Zuccolotto has a B.S. in IT – Security Emphasis from Western Governors University.

Dr. Robert M. Clark
Dr. Clark began his full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2011. He is a tenured Professor of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences and is the Lead Faculty for the Criminal Justice program. He holds several positions and titles including: ACT 120 Certified Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officer (MPOETC); Certified Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer; Certified Diplomate Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Association of Child Forensic Interviewers, Chair of the Critical Criminal Justice section for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and is member of the Cambria County and Somerset County Child Death Review Teams.

Prior to his current position at Penn Highlands, he taught for St. Francis University and Washington & Jefferson College. Currently, he teaches graduate courses in criminal justice for California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clark earned his Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to teaching full-time, he worked in the child welfare system, victim services, and the juvenile and criminal court systems in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.

Jackson Bower
Jackson Bower currently serves as an adjunct instructor.

John Young
John Young currently serves as an adjunct lecturer and teaches a number of CIT courses, which include Windows Enterprise Desktop, Windows Server, Windows Enterprise Applications, Wireless Networking, and Wireshark Network Analysis.  John focuses on relevant and updated security practices in all of these courses as it relates to general enterprise security, HIPPA, PCI, FIPS, and a number of other compliance standards.  He provides consultation and solutions to these compliance needs, as well as taking a holistic approach at identifying security concerns across thousands of users in a wide range of business verticals including but not limited to education, manufacturing, healthcare, warehousing, and the service industries.

Email Leisa Zuccolotto

Penn Highlands is committed to protecting user confidentiality and guarding the institution against cyber security threats. The College has a full Information Security Plan that can be obtained in full from the College’s Information Technology Department.

Information Security Committee

Penn Highlands has a committee assigned to continually monitor and implement key security measures to protect the institution. The members of the committee are:

  • Matt Hoffman (Chief Information Officer)
  • John Zlater (Cloud Analyst)

Risk Management

There are internal and external risks associated with the security of Penn Highlands systems and the confidentiality of its users.  These risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of data integrity
  • Physical loss of information/data in a disaster or otherwise
  • Unauthorized requests for confidential information
  • Unauthorized access of confidential information by employees
  • Unauthorized transmission of confidential info through third parties
  • Viruses/Malware and/or errors introduced into our systems
  • Compromised system security by an unauthorized person
  • Unauthorized access of confidential system by a non-owner

This list is not a complete list of risks associated with the protection of confidential information.  Risks can be introduced into a system at any time because technology is constantly changing and new.  IT will monitor these risks regularly and address any issues that may be uncovered.

Policies and Standards

Penn Highlands has an Acceptable Use Policy and Cloud Policy that are approved by the Board of Trustees of the college.  They are located in a public area that all users of the system can view.  The acceptable use policy must be accepted once a user signs into a college computer and/or wireless access point.

Information Security Incident Response

Incidents are reported via the Penn Highlands IT Help Desk via telephone and/or submitting the issue via our ticketing system.  If the incident is of an urgent nature, the end user is to call the Chief Information Officer’s desk and/or cell phone immediately 24/7.

Professional Organizations

Industry Organizations

Cybersecurity Guidance & Oversight