New Penn State online degree prepares cyber security professionals

August 08, 2012

The bachelor of science in security and risk analysis degree offered through World Campus will equip graduates for careers safeguarding critical national computer systems and technology infrastructure

Cyber attacks are on the rise, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Emergency Response Team, which tracks and investigates incidents. In 2011, the nuclear, energy, government and chemical sectors experienced multiple sophisticated spear-phishing campaigns aimed at accessing sensitive information. To help safeguard critical national computer systems and technology infrastructure, Penn State is launching a bachelor of science in security and risk analysis degree online.

"We are facing constant threats from individuals and even nation states trying to get personal, corporate and government information, but the biggest threat is a cyber attack on the nation’s technology infrastructure," said Peter Forster, executive director of online education for Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). "If someone were to take down banks, stopping financial transactions for a day, or the power grid, for example, it could be devastating for the country."

Key to preventing such attacks is protecting the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of information, Forster added. Penn State's security and risk analysis degree is designed to give students the knowledge, tools and skills needed for information assurance, intelligence analysis and cyber forensics. Students also will learn to identify information vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies.

The online degree has an information and cyber security option and is designed for adults with an associate degree, active duty military service members and veterans and those working in information technology who want to advance their career. The College of IST offers the degree, which is delivered online by Penn State's World Campus.

Graduates receive both a degree in security and risk analysis and are certified as an information systems security professional by the National Security Agency.

Applications are being accepted for the bachelor of science in security and risk analysis degree. Visit the website for information.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 80 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated August 21, 2012