By Jennifer Anzaldi -George Mason University’s M.S in Management of Secure Information Systems Faculty in the School of Management and Volgenau School of Engineering recently were awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop chief information security officer (CISO) core competencies and then apply the results to establish learning objectives and curricula guidelines for cyber security leadership education programs.
In addition, the grant provides funding for developing online cyber security leadership courses and ultimately an online version of Mason’s existing cyber security program, the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems (MSIS).
The research funded by the NSF grant seeks to answer the question of what core competencies are critical to cyber security leadership effectiveness. Cyber security is changing as a field with an increasing need for leaders with a multidisciplinary background spanning leadership, management, policy and technology. Cyber security is starting to be viewed as a key element of organization strategy — and organizations are looking to cyber security leaders to communicate effectively about enterprise risks to other executives and corporate boards.
Managing the project at Mason are Angelos Stavrou, associate professor of computer science and associate director of the Center for Secure Information Systems, and J.P. Auffret, director of Mason’s cross-disciplinary cyber security program. Brent Kang, associate professor of the Graduate School of Information Security at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and a former Mason professor, is also a co-principal investigator.Stavrou, Auffret, and Kang’s backgrounds for the project range across technology management and cyber security engineering and policy. Auffret also directs Mason’s MS in Technology Management program — which is a founding partner of the U.S. Government’s CIO University and has already established core competencies for CIOs — and co-founder of the International Academy of CIO. The group has previously had cyber security research funded by NIST, DARPA, DHA, IARPA and NSF.