When Zaina Siyed was an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, a campus flyer led her to an “absolutely unique and rewarding experience,” she recently told news anchor Gianna Franco in an interview with KPIX, the San Francisco Bay Area’s CBS affiliate.
That’s because the flyer led Syed to participate in Citizen Clinic, UC Berkeley’s trailblazing cybersecurity clinic, through which students gain hands-on experience while providing digital security assistance to local nonprofits facing cyberattacks and other online threats.
Syed explained that she “was drawn to the opportunity to support the organizations that are the most vulnerable.” Clinics, she said, are “intended to support civil society organization to proactively defend themselves (against cyberattack)…when they don’t have the resources to do it themselves”
Franco underscored the value of the model both to public interest organizations and to students for the hands-on learning they provide. She noted that Google recently invested $20M in the model to grow cybersecurity clinics, including $2M+ to UC Berkeley to help mentor new clinics nationwide as part of the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics.
While cybersecurity clinics are expanding across the notion, the local origins of the clinic concept remain a point of pride. KPIX news anchor Reed Cowan even closed the segment by commenting, “We’re the brain trust of the U.S. here in the Bay Area.” Learn more about UC Berkeley’s cybersecurity clinic — and watch a video explaining the cybersecurity clinic model — at the Citizen Clinic website.