Online cybersecurity course targets business professionals

A growing trend in the cybersecurity industry is rooted in educating everyone about the risks of a cyber attack. That's why MIT is launching a new online course for business professionals titled, Cybersecurity: Technology, Application and Policy. In order to accomplish that goal, "We must educate professionals from a variety of perspectives, including technology, public policy and organizational management," said Shrobe. Because new technologies will require new policies and incentives, and emerging policies must adapt to future technologies, "We have brought together a pool of world-renowned faculty cybersecurity experts from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Sloan School of Management to teach this online course," Shrobe said. "What we are examining now (and that we explore in the course)," Shrobe said, "are the architectural principals that would govern those secure designs." "Memory safety errors account for well over 50% of the vulnerabilities. We explore how these errors can be eliminated completely in many programming languages, even if programmers make coding mistakes," Shrobe said. "We also have a case study on mobile security that looks back at Android’s development: What worked? "The way in which we architect computer systems has its roots in the 1970’s when the Unix operating system was developed, along with its system programming language C, which is still used for most system programming, but these languages have low-level security properties that can help explain why security is such a hard goal to achieve," Shrobe said. Professionals can come to understand some of the main causes of security breaches by learning how novel hardware architectures can be used to help enforce the security properties that operating systems and programming languages expect.
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Credit: Maddie Lochte of thinkPARALLAX

A growing trend in the cybersecurity industry is rooted in educating everyone about the risks of a cyber attack.

Universities around the world are developing undergrad and graduate degree programs, professional mentors are engaging with high school students, girls are coding. Everyone’s getting in on cybersecurity awareness, particularly as it relates to business risk.

That’s why MIT is launching a new online course for business professionals titled, Cybersecurity: Technology, Application and Policy.

MIT Professor Howard Shrobe, director of cybersecurity and a principal research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), said, “We created this course to tackle the ever-important issue of cybersecurity. Cyber-attacks continue to occur and we are basically stuck in what I often refer to as “cyber hell”, paying this reactive game of catch-up in which bad actors always seem to have the advantage.”

MIT’s mission is to move organizations away from the current “patch and pray” approach toward security by default, where attacks are managed in a proactive and systematic way.

In order to accomplish that goal, “We must educate professionals from a variety of perspectives, including technology, public policy and organizational management,” said Shrobe.

Because new technologies will require new policies and incentives, and emerging policies must adapt to future technologies, “We have brought together a pool of world-renowned faculty cybersecurity experts from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Sloan School of Management to teach this online course,” Shrobe said.

The six-week course offers a holistic, comprehensive view of key technologies, techniques and systems. The goal, said Shrobe, is for participants to walk away with a broad understanding of hardware, software, cryptography, and policy to make better, safer long-term security decisions.

“Some of the research we focus on is about creating systems that are harder to hack. We’ve demonstrated that it is possible to design a modern computer system that attackers can’t break into…

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