RIT’s Computing College Offers Bachelor’s Degree in Information Security and Forensics
Degree prepares graduates for technical careers in computer security and networking
Aug. 23, 2007
by Kelly Downs
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In this age of cyber crime, corporations and businesses must do all they can to safeguard their computer infrastructures against malicious viral attacks. According to a recent FBI computer crime survey, the cost to businesses for these types of attacks is more than $67 billion annually.
To meet businesses’ needs for computer security experts, Rochester Institute of Technology is offering a new bachelor of science degree in information security and forensics.
The degree will be offered through the Networking, Security, and Systems Administration Department in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Graduates of this specialized degree program will be able to identify security vulnerabilities and prevent attacks. The students’ courses will also give them an understanding of the forensic requirements to determine the origin of an attack and how it occurred. Furthermore, students will have the knowledge to assess the extent of damage and lost information.
Students will be prepared for such hands-on technical careers as security analysts, security auditors, network architects and web security managers.
“In researching what other universities were offering, I didn’t find any undergraduate degree programs in existence that focus on preparing students to secure and maintain information infrastructures,” says Luther Troell, chair of RIT’s Networking, Security and Systems Administration Department. “With the growing demand for computer security experts, RIT felt it needed to design a specialized curriculum. It’s a win-win for our students and for industry.”
Students will be required to take a series of core courses including programming, networking, system administration, security, forensics and ethics. The curriculum is augmented with other courses specific to security and forensics such as computer malware, cyber self defense and cryptographic authentication.
“If a hacker hits a corporation’s computer network, ultimately it’s the corporation that will be held responsible,” says Troell. “The corporation will not only lose money, but also the trust and goodwill of its customers and suppliers. Our graduates will be prepared to prevent these kinds of malicious attacks against a company’s information infrastructure.”
The forensics component of the degree program is also of equal importance. In the event a corporation’s network has been compromised, experts must have the knowledge to prove an attack occurred and its origin.
“The demand for individuals with forensics training far exceeds the supply,” says Bill Stackpole, RIT professor of networking, security and systems administration. “In talking with representatives from the FBI and the New York State Police, both law enforcement agencies indicated that they can’t find enough people with security and forensics training to fill their open positions. This is just another reason for launching this type of specialized degree program.”
For more information about the degree program, visit www.nssa.rit.edu.