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Crafting Cyber Security for NASA

Last Updated on October 18, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published October 18, 2017

By Sairy Cohen Cruz

Junior Computer Science Major

This summer I had the privilege to be a NASA intern at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Sairy Cohen Cruz
Sairy Cohen Cruz at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Interns play a vital and important role at NASA. I worked with the cyber security branch, which allowed me to develop security information, event manager reports, and analyses to protect KSC’s next Launch Control System. I learned about different cyber security concepts and assisted with protocols, vulnerability assessments and reports, patching reports, security monitoring and malware scanning. I helped secure the center, its rockets, and its systems.

NASA gives you the opportunity to be part of agency groups, and meet people from throughout the program across the United States. NASA employees always were willing to share knowledge that helped me grow. I was part of NASA’s Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Alliance (HOLA), and Kennedy Networking Opportunities for Women (KNOW).

I was nervous at the beginning of this journey because I left my friends, family and city for the first time, but this experience was incredible. It impacted my life so much. This internship has prepared me better for my future. It helped me grow as a person, especially in my self-confidence. It proved to me that hard work pays off. These opportunities are not easy to obtain, but when you work hard, you get rewarded.

This internship was a blessing and an opportunity for me. To work with one of the most amazing federal agencies had been one of my life’s goals. I got to see a live launch for the first time in my life. I got to see behind the scenes, and learn how they create rockets and new technology. I also had the honor to work and interact with people from different ethnicities and learn about their cultures. My favorite part of this internship was attending important events and meeting celebrities such Vice President Mike Pence; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; and Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon.

It was a great experience. As a Hispanic student, it was an honor to represent The University of Texas at El Paso at NASA. I look forward to helping NASA take us to Mars.