RIT Announces Security Technology Education Initiatives




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Twenty-percent of children aged 10-17 are sexually solicited over the Internet each year. Research also suggests that one-third of college students are victimized by more than one type of cybercrime each year—and one-in-four knows the offender.

Rochester Institute of Technology has decided that it’s time to arm society with the education necessary to combat these threats.

Wiley McKinzie, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, has announced three security technology education initiatives—all spearheaded by Sam McQuade, graduate program coordinator in the college’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies and author of the best-selling book Understanding and Managing Cybercrime:

    1) A partnership with Rochester-area school districts to conduct a kindergarten-12th grade information security and cyber ethics education research, development and evaluation project.

    2) The development of a Master of Science degree in security technology, a program that is envisioned to consist of approximately 48 credits in subject areas such as homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, legal issues, threat assessment analysis and risk mitigation.

    3) The creation of a regional center, based at RIT, which will develop security technology training tools for high schools and community colleges.

“These initiatives are exciting,” says Ed Suk, executive director for The Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s New York branch. “We need to train kids on how to safely navigate the information superhighway, and what the dangers are out there. We’re not doing that right now.”

McQuade stresses the importance of educating the educators. Many don’t understand the severity of the cybercrime threat.

“Cybrercrime victimization, as well as abuse of computerized devices by and among adolescents, is a growing problem faced by parents, teachers, school administrators, information security managers and law enforcement officials,” McQuade says. “Children as young as six years of age now routinely access the Internet using computers or devices, such as cell phones, that enable text messaging and the transferring of digitized photos and other documents.”

The master’s program curriculum is under development, with classes anticipated to be offered during the next academic year.