Sony, Google, Nintendo, Citigroup, Lockheed Martin. This group has more in common than just being all-star corporations–they were all recent targets of cyber attacks.
Hacking appears to be expanding well beyond military and governmental units, threatening the computer networks of corporations, electric utilities, oil refineries and banks.
Wright State University’s Institute of Defense Studies and Education may have the answer. The institute is unveiling special, state-of-the-art professional training programs designed to defend against cyber attacks and foster the construction of computer systems that thwart electronic break-ins.
“It will build a pool of individuals who can protect their cyber infrastructure,” said Vikram Sethi, Ph.D., director of the institute. “It will build professionals with skills that can continuously evolve against newer threats and new modalities of break-ins.”
Sethi said the number of cyber attacks on government and private installations are increasing in both frequency and sophistication. Critical data, personal information and operational intelligence can be lost, said Sethi, adding that the operating ability of emergency response systems, power generation and water supplies are also at risk.
“It is a very complex environment; it is a very changing environment,” said Sethi. “We have to continuously evolve from reacting to existing threats to learning about new techniques and footprints as well as what motivates the intruders. Our new programs will help provide the right mix of theory, application and industry credentials for cyber security professionals.”
The institute will offer a six-month Cyber Security Certificate program and a 12-month post graduate program beginning in January. Each program will used a blended education model where students will come to the Dayton campus for limited weekend residency periods followed by online learning. A total of 60 students will be selected.
The programs will offer courses in six domain areas:
1. systems management
2. secure systems development life cycle
3. security risk management
4. cryptography and forensics
5. vulnerability and ethical hacking
6. psychology of risk, terrorism and control
“The cyber landscape is extremely dynamic, and the cyber security program is designed to update skill sets for existing practitioners or introduce new candidates to the state-of-the-art security controls essential to keep our networks and systems safe,” said Harrell Van Norman, Information System Security Manager for the Air Force.
Sethi expects the students to be information technology professionals from both government agencies and the corporate world.
“It will also be the system developers, the system designers, because the computer systems must not only be defended, but designed to protect against the ever-changing nature of the attacks,” Sethi said. “There are groups of hackers who will just not stop.”
The institute’s mission is to develop educational and research programs to support the Defense Department and others by employing experts from government, the military, academia and the private sector.
For more information, visit: http://www.wright.edu/idse