derekGavey | Flickr

Missouri school districts need to tighten controls over student data and other information to help ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands for the wrong purpose, a state audit said Thursday.

Using information she gleaned earlier this year from audits on five districts, including Orchard Farm in St. Charles County, state Auditor Nicole Galloway said schools need to pay more attention to cybersecurity in several areas including who has access to the information and what needs to be done when a breach is discovered.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill listens to a presentation on Aug. 29, 2016, at Jefferson Barracks from members of a Missouri National Guard cyber unit.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says the military needs to be more aggressive in attracting and recruiting qualified people for cyber security operations.

That’s one of the big takeaways the Democratic senator had after receiving a presentation on Monday from Missouri National Guard personnel at Jefferson Barracks. The cyber unit that’s stationed there was established in 2013 and is often sought to train military units across the country.

SixThirty Cyber Logo

A new St. Louis-based initiative might produce the next big advancement in the war against hackers and data thieves. SixThirty Cyber is an offshoot of financial technology venture fund and business accelerator SixThirty, which is housed in the T-Rex co-working space downtown.

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

The final audit has begun in a series of cyber security checks of five of Missouri's K-12 school districts.

Orchard Farm in St. Charles County is the fifth school district getting this type of review.It began this week, so there is no information yet on any findings or issues.

Locally-based security researcher Charlie Miller is internationally-known for his hacking capabilities.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 17, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. with quotes about encryption, Apple news – Yesterday, a federal court ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone of one of the people involved in the San Bernadino shooting as a means to obtain evidence against the suspected shooter. Apple is refusing to unlock the phone, as CEO Tim Cook reaffirmed in a letter addressing the security of its customers.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

Cyber security has become a major initiative of the Pentagon.

As part of that initiative, Scott Air Force Base has a new cyberspace operations group that will eventually include 300 new jobs. The 688th Cyberspace Wing activated the group on Tuesday.

Colonel Roger Vrooman also became the new commander of the group during Tuesday's activation ceremony. He later told members of the media that he worries about cyber attacks that aren’t detected.

Aegis Strategies logo
Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio

A new partnership in the Metro East is designed to train more workers for cybersecurity careers. Organizers are hoping it will boost the area’s chances of landing the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which will be moving from south St. Louis.

The Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence is based just outside Scott Air Force Base. It's goal is to help to train workers in all sectors to better protect an employer's online network.

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

It will be this fall at the earliest before Congress begins negotiating provisions in a cyber-security bill. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says he’s disappointed a bill wasn’t ready to be debated next week, before senators leave town for their month-long August break. The House left Wednesday night.

Raymond Evans,left; Paul Jordan, right
Alex Heuer

Every day, billions of internet users are inevitably vulnerable to hackers from across the world.

While regular citizens are susceptible to attacks, so is the government. Professionals at Scott Air Force Base are tasked with ensuring our systems are secure and some of those airmen are passionate about cybersecurity outside of work, and on a personal level.

Webster University

If you need any more reason to be concerned about security of the global online system that runs everything from the financial world to the airlines to the federal government, consider these headlines from last week:

“Apocalypse Now?: NYSE, WSJ outages spook Twitter" 

“The Glitching Hour”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Time to Panic" 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis police said last month’s decision to dedicate additional resources to the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood on the city's northwest side is paying off.

Since designating the area as a "hot spot," police have made nearly 90 arrests. Some were for probation and parole violations, others for crimes in progress. They also pulled 20 guns off the street during the 10-day period.

Charlie Miller, this time hacking into the steering wheel of a Ford Escape.
(Courtesy Charlie Miller)

There’s tech in your car and tech in your phone. Internet connections in your Xbox and your printer. Convenient. But also a potential conduit to breach your security.

A person with the know-how can even remotely hack into your steering wheel. With his research partner Chris Xavier, Charlie Miller of Wildwood, Mo. recently revealed this vulnerability in cars as part of an enterprise in what he calls "white hat" or "ethical" hacking.

(via Flickr/espensorvik)

Employment in the field of information security, web development and computer networks—cybersecurity—is expected to increase 22 percent by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Washington University and Fontbonne University are offering new cybersecurity programs this Fall in response to the growing demand in the workforce for people in this field. 

(Courtesy: USTRANSCOM)

Cybersecurity is especially vital to the nation's military. Last year U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base formed the Joint Cyber Center "in recognition of cyberspace as a warfighting domain. "

Colonel Tom Clancy is Chief of the Joint Cyber Center at Scott Air Force Base. He said that during routine sweeps in 2011, more than 44,000 "attempted accesses to systems" at U.S. Transportation Command were discovered. That number quadrupled in 2012.