Thanks to Sagar Raina, assistant professor of Information Technology at Mount Saint Mary College, and other professionals like him, cybersecurity faculty and students have a new tool in the fight to keep our devices safe and secure.
Towson University’s Cybersecurity Labs and Resource Knowledgebase (CLARK) is a curriculum management platform that provides access to more than 700 learning objects, such as labs, videos, lecture notes, and more. The material has gone through a quality assurance process by experts, noted Blair Taylor and Sidd Kaza, both professors of Computer Science at Towson University and co-directors of the CLARK Project.
In 2018, Raina secured a nearly $15,000 National Security Agency grant and worked as sub-principal investigator to study the accessibility and usability of CLARK. This research, in collaboration with the Department of Computer & Information Sciences at Towson University, involved the development of questioner methods, data collection, and analysis to evaluate the accessibility and usability of the CLARK.
CLARK can be accessed here: www.clark.center/home
“These usable and accessible learning objects on CLARK can be used by anyone who is interested to learn cybersecurity,” said Raina.
He added that the majority of cyberattacks are directed not at corporations, but at small businesses. “Cybersecurity is a global crisis,” Raina noted, with the United States on the receiving end of many cyberattacks.
In light of this, colleges across the United States have introduced cybersecurity programs into their curriculum. For example, the Mount’s Cybersecurity program is available as both a major and a concentration.
Currently, Raina is still working on the CLARK project as a universal usability consultant and continues to collect data on usability.
“Usability is a critical component of information systems,” he notes. “Usability is defined as how effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily a user can complete a task using a system.” More importantly, usable systems can influence users’ ability to perform tasks securely.
Usability is one aspect of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), which studies the impacts of technology on the human experience from both the psychological and technological perspectives. In our world of smartphones, tablets, and apps, usability and accessibility are profoundly important, said Raina.
The Mount recently unveiled a concentration in HCI for Information Technology students. The concentration will help IT students to create and design experiences, products, and services that best serve the user. Existing IT students at the Mount may begin taking this concentration immediately. Incoming IT students may sign up for the concentration as well.
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).