Information Technology/Business Education (ITBE) 452 is auditing another school district this spring.
For the semester, the ITBE 452 class is conducting an information technology security audit of the Whitewater Unified School District.
Dr. Roger Yin teaches the capstone ITBE class for Information Technology majors. Yin said similar audits have been done in past semesters for the school districts of Fort Atkinson, Lake Mills and Elkhorn.
Senior Matt Nicklas was in the class that audited the Fort Atkinson school district and said the class was good preparation for the real world.
“Working with IT in general reinforces that nothing is going to go according to plan,” Nicklas said.
According to Yin, the goal of the audit is to evaluate the vulnerability of the school district’s current network infrastructure and the effectiveness of existing firewalls in protecting sensitive student information.
Yin said it’s the people who use the system that provide the greatest security risks.
“Users continue to be the weakest link,” Yin said. “Users accidently or carelessly disclose usernames and passwords that make networks most susceptible to intrusion.”
Yin said he believes the course plays an important role in the education of all IT student majors.
“If [students] want to gain expertise and mastery, they will have to experience the work,” Yin said. “Not only will they have to [possess] the literacy and competency, but the fluency as well to perform the work.”
The ITBE 452 course is made up of two parts. First is a review and practice of concepts and skills the students should have already been introduced to in previous classes. Second is the execution of an audit for an actual client.
Yin said this course sets a good foundation for students hoping to have long and successful careers in the field.
“[Though this course] students gain hands-on experience work on a real project with a real client,” Yin said.
The class is a favorite of several students who have taken it, including Nicklas.
“I really liked how he ran it and how the class was structured,” Nicklas said. “It allowed the groups that wanted to work harder to get more out of it.”
Nicklas said he would recommend the course to anyone interested, as long as they could stay focused throughout the semester.
“If the student taking the class doesn’t have that passion to learn something new, they might see this class as something they get bored with because you do have to set your own expectations for the class and be able to manage the freedom he gives you,” Nicklas said.