Mason to Offer Multidisciplinary Cyber Security Program

Posted: August 1, 2011 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: July 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

By Dave Andrews and Catherine Ferraro

A growing number of companies and government organizations have dealt with recent cyber attacks, among them Sony, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Senate. Those responsible for the safe, secure and efficient operation of such computer systems must be prepared with not only a technical background but also an education in policy and business.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia recently approved Mason’s new Master of Science in Management of Secure Information Systems for launch in the spring of 2012.

The new degree will provide professionals in business, government and nonprofit organizations with the necessary management skills to address the specific technology and policy challenges of maintaining secure information systems.

As the only program of its kind to be offered in the Washington, D.C., area, the multidisciplinary program draws on the expertise of faculty members within Mason’s School of Management, School of Public Policy and the Volgenau School of Engineering.

“As cyber security threats continue to rise in today’s society, the demand for professionals that have a blend of technology, management and public policy expertise has increased significantly,” says Roy Hinton, associate dean of executive programs in the School of Management.

“The new Management in Secure Information Systems program will allow students to seamlessly connect their studies in management, policy and the technical aspects of information security with the current needs of business and government,” he adds.

The 36-credit program, which is structured for working professionals, can be completed in as little as 14 months, with classes held on weekends to accommodate work schedules.

In addition, the program’s established network of partnerships within the Washington, D.C., region allows students to form relationships with business and government leaders who serve as valuable educational and networking resources.

The global residency component of the program provides valuable opportunities for students to gain insights and hands-on experience of practices and procedures in other business cultures. Residencies in locations such as South America, Europe, Asia and Africa are offered every year and include meetings with foreign businesses and government agencies.

As a leader in the field of cyber security education, Mason is the only university in Virginia and one of only two universities in the Washington, D.C., region that has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research.

Mason is currently accepting applications for the program, with a deadline of Oct. 1, 2011. More information about the program can be found on the website.



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