November 30, 2011 – As cyber crime and cyber terrorism multiply, Pace University today launched an institute to help address the nation’s acute shortage of trained cyber security professionals.
Through partnerships with academia, industry, and government, the Seidenberg Cyber Security Institute at Pace is expected to be a hub of research and practical applications as well as hands-on training.
It will meet increasing demand.
• Jim Gosler, the founding director of the CIA’s Clandestine Information Technology Office, has said that only about 1,000 security specialists in the United States have the specialized skills to operate effectively in cyberspace, while the US needs 10,000 to 30,000 such individuals.
• A 2010 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington found that US nuclear and energy systems are under “continuous” cyber attack, that the US Defense Department has been “penetrated multiple times by other nation-states,” and that in October, 2008, “Express Scripts, one of the nations’ largest processors of pharmacy prescriptions, reported that extortionists had threatened to disclose personal and medical information on millions of Americans if the company failed to meet payment demands.”
• “As cyber security becomes an increasingly important aspect of national defense, rapid growth will occur among information technology specialists,” according to the latest Career Guide to Industries from the US Department of Labor.
Planning and auditing
The new institute is part of Pace’s 28-year-old Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, one of the first comprehensive computing schools in the country.
“This institute will leverage the strengths of both Pace’s Lubin School of Business and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems by focusing on information security management, planning and auditing,” said Constance Knapp, PhD, the interim dean of the Seidenberg School, who serves as one of the new institute’s co-directors.
The institute will be “a forum to propagate basic and applied research advances,” added the other co-director, Bel Raggad, PhD, a Seidenberg professor of information technology. Raggad is the author most recently of the 2010 book “Information Security Management: Concepts and Practice” (CRC Press), which Choice, the American Library Association’s review publication for academic libraries, describes as “one of the most comprehensive works to date on the topic.”
Rapid ramp-ups
For functional managers and senior executives who need to ramp up their security management knowledge rapidly, in the fall of 2013 the new Institute plans to offer a five-course program leading to a new certificate, Chief Information Security Management Officer (CISMO). Raggad says this credential is focused more on information security management, including security planning and auditing, than the well-known but more-technical CISSP (Certification for Information System Security Professional). Knowledge acquired in getting the CISMO will help in obtaining two other certificates that are earned through self study, the CISM and the CISA (Certified Information Security Manager and Certified Information Systems Auditor).
The following fall the Institute plans to offer a MS in Information Security Management, with a concentration in Security Planning and Auditing. The auditing emphasis will help meet institutions’ increasing demand for independent cyber security evaluations and recommendations.
Seidenberg cyber security activities follow the most commonly-used specifications for international security education as well as the National Training Standards of the US Committee on National Security Systems.
In addition to preparing information security specialists for businesses and governments, the new Pace institute will
• drive research on immediately applicable approaches that integrate technology advances and policy;
• serve as a resource for public and private partnerships; and
• develop additional curricula for industry professionals.
Intruders and anthrax
Fully 25 percent of Seidenberg faculty members now are involved in teaching and research in cyber security, and the Institute builds on their expertise. Publications in leading journals have explored topics like employees’ attitudes toward computer security risks, detecting computer intruders, the value of computerized decision support systems in possible anthrax attacks, computer forensics, and keystroke biometrics for authenticating users. One of several cyber-oriented papers co-authored by faculty members at Pace’s Lubin School of Business has analyzed the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley regulations on computerized internal controls over financial reporting.
Seidenberg’s involvement with cyber security also includes its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, its students’ receipt of several competitive scholarships through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service Program, and its numerous security-related undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses and concentrations.