How Does the Cybersecurity Program Stay Current?

Video Transcript: Student Perspective – How Does the Cybersecurity Program Stay Current?

Dr. Norrie: Welcome back to the spring edition of UCTV. My name is Dr. James Norrie, and I'm delighted to be with you today, and I'm especially pleased to have with us a returning guest. He's been on the show many times, Professor Joe Giordano, who actually runs our cybersecurity programs and, of course, our brand new MS/MPS in cyber policy. So Joe, I want to talk a little bit about the fact this is a fast-moving field. I mean, cyber - I've been studying this for a decade, you've been in it for a long time. This game changes all the time. How do we keep up? I mean, it can't be easy to keep that curriculum moving at the same speed as the industry.

Joe Giordano: Exactly. You have to be well-read; you have to be looking constantly at the threat. Who's the threat? Where are they coming from? What's their motivation? That's all sort of social sciences kind of stuff. Also you have to be looking technically - what are their capabilities? What can they do? Where is the malware going? In the old days, it used to be this is a virus, this is a worm, this is a Trojan horse. Now the threats are blended. There are a lot of rogue agents across the world. They'll do anything for money, they'll hack into systems. So the way we keep up with things is we have a blended faculty. We have experts on the inside who hold doctorates, who are academics, but we also draw from these practitioners who are experts in the field. We have people on the faculty who are malware analysts, and malware reverse engineers, and people who've started their own companies in cyber security, and folks like Chet Hosmer, who's internationally known in the area of data hiding and steganography. We have experts who troll the darknets or the deep web, looking at different threats and what the different groups are doing and talking about.

Dr. Norrie: And they're bringing all of that work, of course, into the classroom, so students can expect to hear about really leading edge things?

Joe Giordano: Always the latest and greatest. And when I think of our faculty and where they come from and the diversity of areas they come from: law enforcement, military, critical infrastructure, defense contractors, business industry - it's amazing. And it's amazing what they bring from those domains into the classroom, and how they transfer that knowledge to the student.

Dr. Norrie: So probably safe to say that anybody could put a curriculum together in this field. It sounds to me like it is that mix between curriculum, faculty credentials, and experience that really makes the program outstanding.

Joe Giordano: Exactly. As you state, anybody could go out and create these courses: an intro to cyber security course, and an intro to computer forensics course. But not everybody can go out there and recruit the kind of faculty that can really impart the knowledge back to the students that they can then learn and take with them to furthering their career. The master's degree program and the bachelor's degree program are certified by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. We are designated center of academic excellence in cyber defense education. In addition, we're also nationally designated by the Defense Cyber Crimes Center as a center of excellence in computer forensics education. Very difficult to get these, to prove to the NSA that we were, in fact, an academic center of excellence. Very proud of those designations.

Dr. Norrie: Great. Well, if you're interested in finding out more about our programs, the quality of our faculty, and, of course, those accreditations, which we think are very important if you're a consumer, potentially, of these programs, then you can find out more information at Joe, thanks for joining me today. Always great to have you, and I'm sure we'll have you back on the program soon.

Joe Giordano: Appreciate it.

Dr. Norrie: Have a great day. Thanks.


Cybersecurity is a very fast moving field. There are new cyber threats daily, and adverse players are always producing new ways to attack and wreak havoc. Cyber professionals have to be ready to address these threats and be nimble in their knowledge and skillset to be successful. So how does a cybersecurity program keep up with this ever changing field?

Watch this video to hear Joe Giordano, Professor of Cybersecurity and Program Director, and UCTV Host, Dr. James Norrie discuss some key ways in which the Cybersecurity programs at Utica College are able to answer the call and stay current with the industry.