NEWS

Mount professor discusses enhancing the cybersecurity curriculum in the U.S.

April 08, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

Mount Saint Mary College’s Sagar Raina, assistant professor of Information Technology, presented “Cybersecurity Curriculum at Your Finger Tips: A Usability Study of CLARK Digital Repository” on Thursday, April 4.

Mount Saint Mary College’s Sagar Raina, assistant professor of Information Technology, presented “Cybersecurity Curriculum at Your Finger Tips: A Usability Study of CLARK Digital Repository” on Thursday, April 4.

Sagar Raina, assistant professor of Information Technology at Mount Saint Mary College, presented “Cybersecurity Curriculum at Your Finger Tips: A Usability Study of CLARK Digital Repository” at the college on Thursday, April 4.
 
“Cybersecurity is a global crisis,” Raina noted, with the United States on the receiving end of many cyberattacks. He added that the majority of cyberattacks are directed not at corporations, but at individuals.
 
In light of this, colleges across the United States, including the Mount, have introduced cybersecurity programs into their curriculum.
 
“As cyber threats and attacks are continuously increasing, there is a great demand of skilled cybersecurity workforce,” Raina said. “To address this, academia, industry, and government have focused on cybersecurity education.”
 
But how can cybersecurity professors make sure they are providing students with the newest and most accurate information in a constantly evolving field?
 
Recently, Towson University has been working on design and implementation of their Cybersecurity Labs and Resource Knowledge-base (CLARK), a project funded by the National Security Agency (NSA). CLARK is a prototype curriculum management platform that hosts diverse cybersecurity learning objects. According to Raina, the usage statistics indicate more than 1,000 submissions and downloads of cybersecurity learning objects.
 
The talk was based on the NSA funded sub-award research grant received by Mount Saint Mary College faculty last year to evaluate the usability of CLARK. This research is in collaboration with the Department of Computer & Information Sciences, Towson University.
 
Raina earned a doctoral degree in Information Technology from Towson University. His work has been presented at top-tier conferences like World Conference on Information Security Education (WISE) and Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE).
 
For students interested in a career in cybersecurity, the Mount’s Division of Mathematics and Information Technology offers a Cybersecurity concentration for undergraduate IT majors. The program provides comprehensive coverage of technical, ethical, legal, and contemporary topics in the field; skills to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities in software applications, operating systems, computer networks, and mobile networks; and an insider understanding of the mathematical algorithms behind encryption and decryption techniques.
 
There is an increasing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 200,000 cybersecurity-related jobs remained unfilled in 2016, which is projected to grow by 18 percent by the year 2024. The median annual wage for an information security analyst was above $90,000 in 2016.
 
The talk was part of the college’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series. The goal of iROC is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff, and students to showcase their research endeavors with both Mount Saint Mary College and the local community in a manner easily understood by attendees,” explained series coordinators Evan Merkhofer, assistant professor of Biology, and Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for Access and Outreach services. Presentations include research proposals, initial data collection, and completed research projects.