The critical skills senior leaders need in today’s cybersecurity climate

In a conventional program on cybersecurity, you would assume that a professor in computer science would largely teach technical topics. At Brown University’s Executive Master in Cybersecurity program (EMCS) the goal is to create integrative strategic decision-makers prepared to address the multidisciplinary nature of cybersecurity.

Brown Professor of Computer Science and EMCS Associate Faculty Director of Software Security Shriram Krishnamurthi leads the EMCS track, Human Factors in Computer Security and Privacy. He explained the program’s interdisciplinary approach to developing cybersecurity leaders, or what Krishnamurthi calls, “the EMCS difference.”

According to Krishnamurthi, EMCS’s exceptionalism lies in its full embrace of cybersecurity as a technical, policy, privacy, and human factor challenge. No attack or vulnerability is limited to one of these aspects. As such, no effective solution can afford to ignore the breadth of the field.

EMCS gives students a cybersecurity framework that spans all these fronts to proactively deal with potential threats. The program cultivates this integrative thinking through a hands-on, dynamic approach to learning that results in immediately applicable cybersecurity solutions for organizations.

One of the modules in Krishnamurthi’s track, Insider Threats, taught by Elise Axelrad, Brown EMCS faculty member and principal analyst at Innovative Decisions, looks at the technical, policy, privacy, and human factor angles that cybersecurity leaders must consider to defend against attacks that originate from within the organization.

Students read and analyze real cases of insider threats to gain a better understanding of key predictors of an insider attack (motivations, dispositions, means, opportunities). Based on these cases, they develop a fictional case of an insider attack that their peers need to defend against. Students explore each other’s defense strategies and develop ethical arguments for and against each approach. They compare and select the best defense approaches and develop performance measures, standards, and controls on breaches of ethics. Finally they learn about key organizational stakeholders and how to anticipate their concerns.

Like Insider Threats, all the modules in Krishnamurthi’s track treat cybersecurity as a cross-silo challenge that can not be mastered from just one particular disciplinary perspective. The end result for students: a comprehensive, cutting-edge strategy to maximize protection against insider threats for their own organizations.

To ensure you have the critical skills needed to be a cybersecurity leader, learn more about the Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity, an 18-month program for professionals designed to cultivate high-demand industry executives with the unique ability to devise and execute integrated, comprehensive cybersecurity strategies.

Source:  Brown University

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