UMD Clark School of Engineering, School of Public Policy partner to equip technical specialists with business savvy and management skills
With private industry and government facing escalating threats to information systems and networks, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is responding with a new leadership program to develop cyber specialists for C-suite and senior executive positions.
The multidisciplinary Cybersecurity Leadership track within the Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies is offered in partnership with the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, the School of Public Policy and the cross-campus Maryland Cybersecurity Center, MC2. It launches in fall 2012 and is sponsored by SAIC.
“Threats to cybersecurity are far greater than just technical concerns, impacting economic competitiveness, diplomacy and national security,” said Sandor Boyson, Smith research professor and academic co-director of the program. “Maryland has become the nation’s cybersecurity hub, with the National Security Agency and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It only makes sense that the state’s flagship university should offer this cutting-edge leadership program at such a critical time.”
U.S. companies have lost more than $1 trillion in intellectual property because of cyber attacks, according to the House Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration has issued a comprehensive cybersecurity initiative to mobilize both the public and private sectors against the threat. With the new focus in this area, organizations need leaders capable of designing and operating more resilient information technology systems that can withstand threats from hackers and business interruptions of all kinds.
To meet the demand for new thinking about enterprise risk management, the graduate certificate emphasizes systems thinking along with cutting-edge cybersecurity training. The program includes a capstone project so students can apply what they’ve learned to real-world problems and understand how to incorporate cybersecurity initiatives into their organization’s overall strategy.
Course content is based in part on ground-breaking research from Boyson and Hart Rossman, the program’s academic co-director. The duo forged an ongoing research relationship with the National Institute of Standards and Technology which establishes cybersecurity and supply chain risk practice guidelines for the federal government.
“Sensitive security information and skills can no longer be confined to the IT department,” said Rossman. “The country—and the world—needs cyber specialists who can think strategically, communicate opportunities and risks effectively, and lead enterprise-wide initiatives. This program offers a unique opportunity for technical specialists concerned with security, privacy and operations to become well-rounded managers, leveraging their new world knowledge to shape the future.”
The 15-credit program can be completed in three months. Courses will take place in College Park and there are also plans to offer learning hubs in other parts of Maryland.
“We want to ensure students benefit from valuable networking opportunities and peer support, but we also want to use technology to make it convenient for students to learn close to home or work,” Boyson said.
Qualified students may apply nine of the 15 credits earned in the program toward a master of science in business information systems from the Smith School, or a master of engineering: cybersecurity track from the Clark School.
The program launches with an intensive daylong bootcamp session where participants will map out a personal leadership development plan. Courses cover systems thinking and design, information cybersecurity technology, supply chain risk management, and federal IT acquisition. Additional support will be offered in the areas of leadership communications, managing innovation, leading change, negotiation and partnering, collaboration; and strategy. The program wraps up a with the team-based capstone leadership project.