All posts by Barbara Wolter

Social Engineering and CEO Fraud attacks

Social Engineering and CEO Fraud attacks are hot topics in the field of Cyber Security and will be the main topic at the quarterly (ISC)2 Tampa Chapter meeting. Open to the public, the free meeting will be held:

Saturday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
South University
4401 North Himes Avenue, #175
Tampa, FL 33614

What is Social Engineering?

Wikipedia provides the following definition of Social Engineering:

Social engineering, in the context of information security, refers to psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. A type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional “con” in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme.”

Erich Kron speaks on Social Engineering and CEO FraudGuest speaker Erich Kron will give the presentation, covering the latest CEO Fraud and Social Engineering and Ransomware attacks and how to counter them effectively.

A Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, Kron has more than 18 years experience in information security. View his profile on LinkedIn.

Other topics that will be discussed at the meeting include:

  • CTF Academy
  • Shodan Training Class
  • CISSP BootCamp
  • Women in Linux Event
  • Women in Technology Event
  • BSI Event
  • (ISC)2 Security Congress
  • Additional events
  • BSides Tampa 2017

RSVP online if you plan to attend the meeting.

Technology faculty named AP Computer Science Reader


Jun ‘Thomas’ Ma, a new full time faculty with SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology (CCIT), was recently awarded the Advanced Placement Computer Science Reader/Rater designation by Educational Testing Services.

While the credentialing is for high school teachers, earning the designation is an honor as becoming an AP Reader is a highly selective process.

“We are proud to have the level of faculty who have been awarded advanced professional credentialing,” said Sharon Setterlind, Dean of SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. “It recognizes the attainment of measurable skills necessary to teach students to succeed in the field of computer science.”

High school teachers must have a minimum of three years of experience teaching this course in a face-to-face classroom setting. Most Tampa Bay area private high schools have zero or one AP reader in their schools. AP Readers can gain an in-depth understanding of the expectations of the AP Exam by scoring student work from across the world, exchange ideas and experiences with other teachers, faculty and AP Development Committee.

They also have the opportunity to reflect on their own assessment practices, and discover how their curriculum aligns with those at other institutions.

IT Security certifications boost expertise

Analyst (GCFA

As IT security breaches continue to make headlines, companies are focused on hiring employees with in-demand certifications as proof that they have the proper training to do the job.

IT Security jobs on the rise

IT Security By The NumbersDemand for IT Security analysts is expected to be very high. Analysts will be needed to come up with innovative ways to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating havoc on computer networks. The federal government is expected to greatly increase its employment of IT Security analysts to protect the nation’s critical information technology systems. In addition, the health care industry will need greater technology security as the industry moves toward using more electronic records.

Our 18-credit-hour Cybersecurity Certificate prepares you for the CompTIA Security+™ Certification. This certificate transfers to our 63-credit-hour IT Security A.S. degree, which transfers to our bachelor’s degree in Technology Development and Management.

SPC faculty earns new IT Security Certification

Analyst (GCFARyan Irving, an IT Security Manager for Hillsborough County Government, brings his professional IT Security experience and a long list of industry certifications to SPC where he also teaches as an adjunct professor for the College of Computer Information Technology. This fall he is teaching a variety of classes including:

  • Incident Response and Disaster Recovery
  • Network Defense/Countermeasures

Recently he earned his third security certification from Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). GIAC provides information technology security and forensics certifications for IT managers and professionals. Earlier this year he attended SANS Orlando in March, and took their Advanced Forensics and Incident Response Course, which prepared him to successfully pass the GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA) certification.

The last day of class is a challenge and competition among the rest of the class. His team was the victor in the Incident Response Challenge. They were presented with a scenario of activities and had questions to answer based on the incident. By the end of the deadline they had to submit their findings and presentation for review, and were selected as one of three groups to present, and we were selected the best.

As a leader in the digital forensics profession and community, Irving was also award the SANS Lethal Forensicator coin, a coveted IT Security prize.

IT Security Lethal Forensicator Coin

Advisory committee helps SPC connect with local needs

IT advisory committee

St. Petersburg College’s Technology Advisory Committee helps students succeed by working with the college to maintain an industry-centered curriculum that keeps up with the rapid changes in today’s IT industry.

The advisory committee is made of professionals within the community that provide oversight and ensure our programs remain relevant and effective. Through these committees, SPC’s programs are effective in meeting the professional and employment needs of our area.

In addition to the input from each advisory committee, SPC professors attend professional conferences, and the college hosts employer events and job fairs that help SPC connect with industry leaders.

Meet Chris Paul – Melitta North America

Chris Paul is the manager of information systems for Melitta North America, a distributor of
coffee, filters and non-electric coffee systems headquartered in Clearwater. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. In that role, Chris enjoys sharing his experience and what he has learned in his career.

“Quite honestly, I see it as a professional responsibility,” Chris said. “I mean you’ve learned
things. You now have skills and experiences that you can use to guide students in their own career paths.”

He also sees the benefits to the local companies that serve on an advisory committee.

“Our companies also benefit in that local industry also has the availability of talent they need to keep their doors open,” Chris added.

Meet Mayra Harley – Reservec, Inc.

Mayra Harley is the CEO of Reservec Inc., a total management and online reservation system for the recreation industry.  Also a member of the Advisory Committee for SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology, Harley and other advisory board members help provide strategies and guidance to help SPC stay connected to today’s IT workforce needs.

“You help the college guide their academic efforts,” Harley said. “And at the same time you help a student or a new professional in the community get their first job and that is a great feeling in and of itself.”

Advisory committee helps students succeed

SPC’s technology Advisory Committee meets twice a year to keep the focus on students by helping develop the academic programs necessary for their success in the workplace. Committee members also assist in finding the right contacts within the employment community so students keep the end goal in mind – their careers.

For example, the technology program often hosts career events, where local employers visit the college to discuss career and internship options with students.

Related links

SPC Technology Professor to attend Master Teacher seminar

Adrian Tillman attends Master Teacher Seminar

St. Petersburg College Professor Adrian Tillman has been nominated by Dr. Anne Cooper, Senior Vice President of Instruction and Academic Programs, to attend the 2016 Florida Master Teacher Seminar at Pensacola State College, July 24-28.

SPC recommends one outstanding faculty member each year to attend the seminar and covers the expenses for participation and  travel.

“Adrian Tillman is one of our best programming faculty,” said Sharon Setterlind, Dean of the College of Computer and Information Technology. “His determination to turn the students into programmers who can find jobs in a very competitive field is remarkable. I know he will have much to share on his teaching techniques and style.”

The Master Teacher Seminar

“The original Master Teacher Seminar was established in 1962 by Roger Garrison at Westbrook College in Portland, Maine. Since then, it has evolved into a national movement with more than a dozen annual seminars and an international movement with seminars in Canada and China. Garrison founded the seminar on the following beliefs:

  • Excellent teaching takes place in American higher education.
  • Teachers striving for mastery of their craft have much to share.
  • Bringing teachers together in a relaxed, informal atmosphere to share their successes and their experiences enhances the skills of all.” (Source:

Tillman and other college faculty  from around the state will submit ideas for discussion groups led by the seminar staff.

A regular SPC Technology blogger, Tillman teaches Computer Programming classes for SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

He is a seasoned software industry veteran. He has lead the activities of research and development teams to bring software products from inception of development through release.  Adrian is a senior software engineer with 14 years of system design and software development experience, with a background in application design, development and testing. He has provided services to government, commercial and university clients. Adrian holds a Master’s of Science degree in Applied Computer Science from Columbus State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Albany State University. He currently teaches Software Development courses to young aspiring technologist at St. Petersburg College. He prides himself in developing a sense of passion for software development and the love for the art.

View more of his blog posts.

Exploratory Lab Boot Camp named Best Student Program of the Year


The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) hosted its 2015 Industry Achievement Awards Gala at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa. The Exploratory Lab Boot Camp was nominated and won in the category of Best Student Program of the Year.  The Program is successful because of the collaboration between area companies and colleges; Tech Data, Valpak, and Agile Thought hosted the program, with Tech Data creating the curriculum.  St. Petersburg College lead the operation of the program with assistance by TBTF.

“Angie Beltz, VP Cisco Sales Tech Data and Pat Gehant, Tampa Bay Technology Forum and St. Petersburg College, have done an excellent job of leading the Exploratory Lab Boot Camp,” said James Connolly, Director of Workforce and Professional Development. “By combining Industry needs with innovative educational strategies, we have been able to increase the preparedness of the student to enter the workforce.”

Overall, the program boasts the following stats:

  • 42 students have gone through the program
  • 100 percent of the students completed the program
  • 67 percent were hired, offered internships, or returned to existing jobs with new skills
  • 27 percent returned to school to continue their education

Of the most recent class, 37 percent were hired within two weeks of graduation. A 19-year-old student was offered a full time position at above entry level. This student was already working full time at a local bank.  Companies hiring the students included PWC, Tech Data, Agile Thought.

Future plans for the program include:

  1. Developing a sustainable business model that is a collaboration between 5-6 companies to deliver the curriculum in May 2016.
  2. Tech Data will assist in mentoring other companies to deliver the curriculum
  3. Tech Data will host a third session in June 2016
  4. Heavily marketing the program to student groups and faculty at area universities and colleges.

Interest in program is increasing because of the hire rate and student response to the knowledge and confidence they gain in understanding how to prepare for the workforce.

Computer systems analysts top list of high-demand, low-supply jobs in Tampa Bay

Training for compuer analysts

Computer systems analysts top the list of local jobs that are in high demand with a low supply of skilled workers to fill the jobs. According to the labor market research tool Burning Glass, there are only 262 potential candidates currently available to fill 1,014 computer systems analysts openings in the Tampa Bay area. Other jobs that need hundreds of workers to fill them are web developers and software application developers.

St. Petersburg College is helping fill the skills gap by offering technology degrees and certificates that prepare students for these technology jobs. Computer systems analysts help companies evaluate, design and implement effective computer systems. In 2014, computer systems analysts earned a median salary in Florida of $80,000, according to O*Net.

“Systems analysts, by definition, could be found in any discipline (management, security, programming, development, networking) as they design and implement information systems with the end user as the focus,” said Sharon Setterlind, dean of SPC’s College of Computer and Information Technology. “Analysts come from a variety of disciplines.”

To help expose non-traditional technology students to the IT profession, St. Petersburg College recently partnered with Tech Data, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, Valpak and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg to host the inaugural Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The 70-hour program meets the needs of local companies who desire well-rounded employees from broad backgrounds who can mesh with their organizations.

“The ability to strengthen our programs to better meet the needs of world-class employers is fundamental to our vision of success for our students,” said Dr. Bill Law, St. Petersburg College president.

Preparing students for in demand jobs

In addition to preparing students for high-wage, high-demand jobs, St. Petersburg College helps students prepare for and pass industry certification exams like:

SPC’s career and internship programs help students learn real-world job skills through internships and career and job fairs and workshops.

Top 10 occupations with skills gap

Four out of the top 10 occupations with the largest gap between supply and demand in the Tampa Bay area are in technology. Learn more about Careers in Information Technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in cloud computing, cyber security, and mobile networks will increase demand for these workers.

Occupation Total Supply Short Term Demand Supply Gap or Overage Degree/level of education
Computer Systems Analysts 262 1,014 -752 Associate or Certificate
Web Developers 279 641 -362 PSAV
(Post Secondary Adult Vocational training)
Software Developers, Applications 230 574 -344 Associate or Certificate
Computer Occupations, All Other 740 980 -240 PSAV

Source: Burning Glass

SPC professor Tillman discusses “supercookies” on WFLA

Adrian Tillman on WFLA

St. Petersburg College computer science professor Adrian Tillman was featured in a news spot on WFLA. Learn more about the benefits and dangers of supercookies below.

“The technology landscape is kind of like the wild wild west right now,” said Tillman. “We have developers and companies discovering new frontiers at a very rapid pace. However, these uncharted territories are often filled with unsavory characters and hazards. Users of technology need to be aware that while all these new technologies are making our lives easier there are dangers. Awareness is everything. Most people were unaware that their phones were uploading location and timestamps along with their photos which could easily be viewed by attackers, now it’s turned off by default in most mobile phones. Reputable companies will find these holes and fix them. Other companies may exploit them for their own gain. Only time will tell which company is which.​”

A hot topic in the news and in Tallahassee, WFLA reports that Florida Senator Bill Nelson has contacted Verizon for more information.

Learn more about earning a degree or certification at SPC College of Computer and Information Technology.

SPC prepares students for top tech job

Software Developer ranks as #1 job in 2014

U.S. News ranked Software Developer as the #1 job in all occupations in 2014. They also use rank the top technology jobs.

St. Petersburg Colleges offers Computer and Information Technology degrees that prepare you for the top five technology jobs in their report:

  1. Software Developer, $70K – $113K
  2. Computer Systems Analyst, $63K – $100K
  3. Web Developer, $44K – $83K
  4. Information Security Analyst, $65K – $109K
  5. Database Administrator, $57K – $99K

Learn more about earning a degree or certification at SPC College of Computer and Information Technology.

SPC offers $6,500 STEM scholarships

St. Petersburg College offers STEM Scholarships

If you want to pursue a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM), you may be eligible for a $6,500 in scholarship to help offset the cost of tuition, books and fees. FInd out if you qualify.

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

1 – Be a full-time student enrolled in a degree related to:

  • Biological Sciences (except medicine and other clinical fields)
  • Physical Sciences (including Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy and Materials Science)
  • Math
  • Computer & Information Sciences
  • Engineering or Engineering Technology
  • Environmental Science Technology

2 – Be a U.S. citizen, national or alien admitted as a refugee

3 – Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

4 – Be in financial need as defined by the FAFSA

5 – Have a minimum GPA at or above 2.50

6 – Successfully complete College Algebra (MAC 1105) and one STEM course

Learn more about this National Science Foundation Scholarship.


Apply by Oct. 3, 2014. To apply, complete the SPC Foundation general scholarship application which will include two letters of recommendation, a 500-word essay and an interview. Learn more and apply online at
Scholarships made available through a $623,740 National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) grant.

Related Links:

Learn more about earning a degree or certification at SPC College of Computer and Information Technology.