'Ethical Hacker' Will Protect School Computer Systems

At the Tuscarora School District in Mercersburg, Pa., CIO Aaron Trusky will use the same techniques as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate way in order to assess system security.

by Amber South, McClatchy News Service / April 2, 2014 0
The Tuscarora School District in Mercersburg, Pa., now has a certified ethical hacker whose job it is to protect the district's computer system from being compromised.

Aaron Trusky, CIO for the district, earned certification as an Ethical Hacker from the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants.

An ethical hacker is "a skilled professional who understands and knows how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in (a) target system," according to a district news release. An ethical hacker uses the same techniques as a malicious hacker, but does so lawfully and legitimately in order to assess system security.

Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said it only makes sense for the district's top technology professional to have these skills.

"Do we have an issue? No. This is how you (prevent) an issue," he said.

The district stores all types of data in its computer system, including everything from employee information to test scores. As an ethical hacker, Trusky will take a proactive approach to protecting these systems from being broken into, according to Prijatelj.

Even something like a student breaking into a part of the system to change a grade could compromise the entire system, he added. Trusky would be able to forestall such an action.

"In the long run, it helps us streamline what we're doing and better serve the kids," Prijatelj said.

Trusky has been with the district since 2009, and is responsible for all information technology, including computer systems, phones, software, servers and building technology.

He has an undergraduate degree from Elizabethtown College and a master's of science in education from Wilkes University.

The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in various information security and e-business skills.

©2014 the Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.)