OSU to offer highest level of computer security training


Jim Mitchell
OSU News Bureau
Oklahoma State University
(405) 744-9782
06/23/05

National Security Agency and Homeland Security officials recently presented formal documents designating OSU as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. Pictured (left to right) Dr. Gregory Mosier, interim dean, Spears School of Business; Dan Wolf, information assurance director, National Security Agency; Dr. Mark Weiser, director, Center for Telecommunications and Network Security and Andy Purdy with the Department of Homeland Security.

Oklahoma State University officials recently traveled to Atlanta to formally receive the documents that designate the university as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. On a practical basis, that means OSU will soon be the only public institution in Oklahoma offering graduate students a certificate in computer security.  The graduate certificate and five other federally-designated certifications will be offered at OSU, according to Dr. Mark Weiser, director of the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security (CTANS) at OSU.

“As the only public institution in Oklahoma to hold the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security Information Assurance designation, we’re glad to be among the first to serve as a model for this higher level of training,” says Weiser.

OSU is in the final phases of development for the new Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance that it hopes to offer as early as this fall. “This particular certificate program is especially important to those who want a career in any line of work that involves computer security, but any degree field could benefit,” says Weiser. “We’re glad to offer that and more,” he adds.

Government and corporate entities alike are increasingly requiring all their staff to be aware of the many ways that computer security is breached and how they can help mitigate those problems. Weiser says issues such as password and physical security, social engineering, and cautious use of Internet resources are among the training concerns.

“Rather than having companies provide this training, recruiters will be able to know that our graduates already have that knowledge,” says Dr. Greg Mosier, interim dean at the Spears School of Business.

Weiser and CTANS is working with the Department of Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business at OSU to provide all the university’s business school graduates with a level of computer security awareness training that exceeds most current state and corporate requirements.

Mosier and Weiser traveled to Atlanta recently to receive the formal documents naming OSU among the federally designated National Centers of Excellence in Information Assurance Education for 2005 to 2008.

OSU is among a handful of schools in the country that offer all five of the federal certifications available, which include information assurance professional, designated approving authority, system administration in information systems security, information systems security officer, and system certifier.

 “Another advantage we have over the few other schools that have all the federal certifications is that we are very interdisciplinary, so those in various majors have more options for earning the certification(s) they seek,” says Weiser.

 The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency will hold a meeting this fall with the Presidents of all the Centers of all the National Centers of Academic Excellence.   Additionally, OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly and Weiser will work with a liaison from DHS or NSA to promote an ongoing dialogue and identify areas of mutual interest between the university and the government that can benefit the nation. 

 OSU is also planning an Oklahoma City symposium for early November which will include speakers from the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency, according to Weiser.

For more information about the certificates offered at OSU, go to ctans.okstate.edu or phone 405-744-3000.


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