Updated April 19 at 1:08am

Report: Graduate schools failing on cyberthreats

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

Cybersecurity experts are increasingly concerned that the nation’s future leaders are unprepared to deal with the digital threats programmers and cryptographers are wrestling with. More

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Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Report: Graduate schools failing on cyberthreats

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Cybersecurity experts are increasingly concerned that the nation’s future leaders are unprepared to deal with the digital threats programmers and cryptographers are wrestling with.

A report this spring from a fellow at Salve Regina University’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy warned that the top graduate schools in the country are “failing” to educate their students about cyberthreats.

The report mentioned key fields, including law, business, health administration, public policy and criminal justice among the areas where knowledge of cybersecurity issues could be vital for future leaders.

“There are only some schools offering cybersecurity classes and most don’t offer anything other than seminars,” said Francesca Spidalieri, author of the report titled “One Leader at a Time.”

“None offer it as a core component,” she said. “We are looking at private sectors as the most common vulnerabilities and most threats happen because employees are not trained properly.”

Spidalieri didn’t survey any Rhode Island schools, because they didn’t rank top 10 nationally in any of the graduate fields covered.

But she said Ocean State universities are generally in line with national counterparts on cybersecurity training, with a chance to move ahead because of the state’s overall cybersecurity resources.

Those resources include the interest of the state congressional delegation, and the work at the Pell Center, the University of Rhode Island’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.

The kind of training Spidalieri’s report focuses on can’t just be confined to the experts in computer science departments, but needs to be diffused across curriculums to reach the result she’s looking for.

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