College of Lake County helps keep the public safe and informed this Cybersecurity Month

Updated 9/28/2022 10:05 AM

Technology continues to be more prevalent in everyday life and College of Lake County (CLC) is training a cybersecurity workforce to help keep everyone safe. CLC is also doing its part to keep the public informed during Cybersecurity Month with a few virtual presentations covering various cybersecurity topics every Wednesday in October.

"People are online more often than they used to be," said Director of Cybersecurity Byron Sosa. "It's becoming more important to understand all the different threats that are out there."


CLC offers courses involving different kinds of cybersecurity work, including a cybersecurity certificate and a pathway in the Computer Information Technology (CIT) program.

Juliana Zarinana is a current student who took an interest in cybersecurity and switched to studying it after starting in the dental hygiene program.

"I was initially drawn to the program because I'm always learning," she said. "It involves a lot of investigative kind of work, and it's the kind of job where I'll always be busy. Every day is different."

After getting her first student worker position with Technology Support, she switched over to the cybersecurity team. She helps manage tickets for issues like phishing or other alerts.

Not only is Zarinana getting to use what she learns in class in a real-life setting, but she's also gaining valuable experience she can use on her resumé in the future.

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Margarita Gracheva graduated from CLC in December 2020 but returned to the college to work in a cybersecurity analyst role using the skills she learned.

Like Zarinana, Gracheva started off at CLC with different plans. After starting as an English as a Second Language student, she was initially looking to get into the medical or healthcare field. She eventually learned about the CIT program and found a path in cybersecurity.

Gracheva worked an internship during her time at CLC at Gather Voices, a Chicago-based company that helps organizations easily collect, manage, and share user-generated videos, thanks to help from the Career and Job Placement Center.

Now back at CLC as an employee, Gracheva is enjoying the rewarding aspects of her career.

"I feel like I can make a difference," she said. "People think that in cybersecurity you just work with computers, but I talk to people all the time. Hearing feedback from them is rewarding."


This year's Cybersecurity Month presentations are:

Oct. 5: The ABCs of Social Media Safety: What can I do to keep my information safe? Presented by Sosa.

Oct. 12: Cybersecurity Survival Guide: How to use Safe Browsing and Password Managers. Presented by Gracheva.

Oct. 19: How can I get started in the Cybersecurity field? Presented by Tyler McChristian, Senior Solution Architect with CDW's Information Security practice

Oct. 26: Cybersecurity threat landscape overview: What should I do to protect myself? Presented by an agent from the FBI's Chicago office.

All presentations are at 12 and 6 p.m. For more information or to register, email the CLC Cybersecurity team at

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