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MICUA Matters Newsletter

MICUA Institutions Train the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

Summer 2017


As reported by Maryland's Office of the Attorney General, 564 data breaches occurred in the State in fiscal 2016. These breaches affected over 600,000 Maryland residents. Cybersecurity protects against more than just information theft, it guards the systems that run many of Maryland’s essential services, such as electrical grids, banking systems, hospitals, and more. MICUA member institutions recognize the importance of training students now for a future that will rely even more heavily on cyber systems.

“Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing fields in the nation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Simmons, Dean of Mount St. Mary's University's School of Natural Science and Mathematics. Colleges and universities are not producing enough graduates to fill the job demand.

Five MICUA member institutions have dedicated cybersecurity programs at the certificate, bachelor's, master’s, or PhD levels.

In 2001, Capitol Technology University launched one of the first online master’s degree programs in the field. Today, Capitol offers programs in cybersecurity at both the graduate and the undergraduate level. The Doctor of Science (DSc) in Cybersecurity was one of the first regionally accredited programs of its kind in the nation. To date, 60 students have graduated with a DSc in Cybersecurity, over 1,500 have graduated with a master's in Cyber and Information Security, and over 120 have earned bachelor’s degrees in Cyber and Information Security.

Announced in June, Capitol will be one of two institutions offering coursework to employees enrolled in the National Security Agency's (NSA) Security Engineering and Enrichment Development program. Graduates of the program will receive an Information System Security Engineer certification.

Hood College’s certificate in cybersecurity and newly approved master’s degree in cybersecurity, to be offered in fall 2017, prepare cybersecurity specialists to face real-world cyber threats. The College's exclusive membership in the CyberWatch Consortium offers students access to cutting-edge programs and practices and the opportunity to interact with area businesses, laboratories, and government agencies while they learn.

Students in the certificate program work on cutting-edge cybersecurity tools, using real data, and apply what they learn on industry case studies. First offered in 2009, over 120 students have completed the program. The master’s degree culminates with a team-based capstone project, linked to local industry and government partners. The program's structure allows students to enter from different disciplines and provides a common foundation and robust subject matter training necessary in today’s cybersecurity job market.

The Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute (JHUISI) was founded in 2001 as one of the first academic research entities in the country to address the increasingly frequent and severe attacks on the integrity of data, communications, and computation. Since 2003, JHUISI has been named a Department of Defense Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance. Today, JHUISI is the home to interdisciplinary research in cybersecurity and hosts a rapidly growing full-time Master of Science degree program in Security Informatics (MSSI).

The MSSI has produced over 400 graduates who have gone on to positions of technical leadership. Six months post-graduation, almost 100 percent of students have secured jobs. Student teams complete capstone projects in collaboration with organizations like the NSA, Department of Homeland Security, and JHU Applied Physics Laboratory.

MSSI students also benefit from a weekly seminar series. Speakers from government agencies and industry come to campus to address the students on security practices and career opportunities during the fall and spring semesters.

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) offers a major and minor in cybersecurity to train graduates who are prepared for technological careers that contribute to our cyber defense and promote the responsible use of Internet technology. The program integrates communication skills and ethics with the Mount’s renowned liberal arts curriculum.

Available to all students, the minor focuses on the computer science, criminological, and criminal justice components of the cyber world and fosters the development of graduates in the analytical and ethical issues associated with technology.

A partnership with the Mount’s Career Center allows students to explore internship and employment opportunities with the local cyber technology industry. MSMU also has partnered with Frederick Community College on an articulation agreement to create another accessible avenue for students to pursue a bachelor’s in cybersecurity.

The Master of Science in Cyber Forensics program at Stevenson University prepares students for multiple industries. Since the program began in fall of 2012, 100% of graduates have reported finding full-time employment. Students learn to select the appropriate tools to recover operating systems, artifacts, and data; identify current attack vectors and exploited vulnerabilities; and identify data that has been exfiltrated, among learning other skills.

A unique aspect of the University’s forensics programs is the Mock Intrusion and Response Capstone, which provides students with real-life experience as forensic specialists. Students create a curriculum vitae and engagement letters as if they were hired as consultants, then analyze evidence from a case, create reports of their methodology and analysis, and finally defend their findings.

In 2014, Stevenson’s undergraduate Computer Information Systems program became one of only six undergraduate programs in the nation to earn “The National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence” accreditation by Defense Cyber Crime Center.