WCSU information security courses gain NSA recertification
Recognition affirms high standards of IT systems security training at Western

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business (ASB) recently received federal reaffirmation of its important commitment to strengthen information technology security through comprehensive education in safeguards to protect the nation’s critical IT systems infrastructure.

The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) of the National Security Agency in July issued its recertification of courses offered by the ASB management information systems (MIS) department as part of the MIS information security management (ISM) option. The federal agency found that five core courses offered in the ISM option are in full compliance with the National Standard for Information Systems Security Professionals, also known as CNSS Standard 4011.

CNSS certification, previously awarded to WCSU’s Ancell School in 2006, validates that the MIS curriculum meets tough federal standards for training professionals in the field of information systems security. The recertification announcement noted that the five courses — Information Systems Concepts, Database Applications in Business, Information Systems Security, Information Assurance, and Fundamentals of Data Communications — met recertification criteria covering a diverse range of 256 topics related to telecommunications and IT systems security

WCSU is the only institution in Connecticut, and one of fewer than 200 institutions nationwide, to gain certification for meeting one or more of the information assurance training standards established by the CNSS. MIS Professor Dr. Marie Wright observed that Ancell has made a strong commitment over the past decade to “the development and implementation of the ISM program, years before other schools recognized the importance of information security education.

“Information security is focused very much on protecting the nation’s critical infrastructures,” she said. “Ninety percent of our critical infrastructures are owned and operated by private businesses in areas such as telecommunications, banking and financial systems, and the production and storage of oil and gas.”

An important element of Western’s ISM program is its integration of the human and technological aspects of information security. “The program incorporates both behavioral and technical perspectives of security, and is intended to offer a broad perspective,” the ISM curriculum statement notes. “The purpose of the program is to elevate the importance of the behavioral aspects of security, while continuing to recognize the importance of technological security controls.”

The CNSS recertification enables the university to issue certificates of educational compliance with Standard 4011 to all graduates who earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in MIS with the ISM option. Graduates from this program in recent years have found this credential to be a helpful addition to their resumes in securing employment in areas such as network information security, database and information management, and similar positions in the corporate world.

“We are a nation at risk,” Wright observed. “Achieving recertification from NSA adds credence to our security program, and helps to establish important career pathways for our students. We see this recertification as a real benefit to our students, to the school and to the entire university. We’re quite proud of that.”

For more information, contact Wright at wrightm@wcsu.edu or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


 
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