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School of Business Shares Provost Award

A $5,000 award from the Provost will help fund a day-long cybersecurity conference for an audience of small- and mid-sized business executives interested in understanding and addressing cybersecurity issues.

Mark Troutman, director, Center for Infrastructure Protection & Homeland Security, represents the School of Business on the project, which is headed by Jody Keenan of the Mason Enterprise Center.

The provost’s funding for the conference followed a Mason multidisciplinary research symposium with a focus on security that was held in early 2016. Multidisciplinary teams across academic units were encouraged to submit proposals for seed grants.

Faculty responded enthusiastically with 62 cross-college proposals. Seventeen of the proposals were cumulatively awarded $490,000.

The conference is scheduled for the Arlington campus on October 5, the beginning of Cybersecurity Awareness Month.business photo for Mark Troutman article (400x269)

“This event will showcase the tremendous expertise the School of Business and our partners offer in the areas of cybersecurity education, research and problem solving, and executive education,” said Troutman.  “We hope to build this initial conference into a recurring event,”

Most cybersecurity conferences are directed to larger enterprises and focus on technological solutions that require substantial resources and employee expertise, according to the proposal submitted for provost funding. A goal of the October conference is to build awareness of critical cyber issues for smaller businesses and provide practical solutions to prevent and respond to cyber threats and attacks.

The anticipated format is a combination of plenary and panel presentations from Mason faculty and private/government sector experts, including topics such as:

  • Psychology of hackers
  • Threat prevention for small/medium businesses
  • Internet of Things and how this paradigm is a game changer
  • What should firms to do after a breach to handle continuity, liability, data issues and public relations
  • Managing employee behaviors that cause vulnerabilities
  • Recruiting for cyber expert employees
  • Resources for assessment, prevention, recovery

“An early outcome of the conference planning process is the new and enhanced working collaboration between the Mason Enterprise Center and the School of Business,” said Troutman. “This project is bringing us together in an exciting way.”

The Provost is planning another research symposium and seed grant competition for Spring 2017.

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Mary Crowson

Mary Crowson is a program operations specialist for the Research Partnerships and Grants Initiative within George Mason's School of Business.

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