Attacking Cyber Crime with New Major

U.S. and global corporations are changing the way they fight cybercrime, now proactively fighting the threat with “cybersecurity” teams. Since 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security noted that it found more than 340,000 job postings for cybersecurity positions within the United States. Now, prospective Regent University undergraduate students will find a major for this expanding career field.

“Regent is leveraging its strength in information security and homeland security to innovate this new area of study,” said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riano, executive vice president and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). “We will be preparing students to lead with excellence and integrity in this growing career field.”

The new program will be offered at Regent’s Virginia Beach campus and online.

“The mission of this degree program is to prepare Christian leaders to understand threats to systems security, methods to counter these threats, information systems information security safeguards and disaster recovery expertise, said Dr. Joseph Bucci, department chair of Business, Leadership, and Information Systems. “The experience will be hands-on and equip them to defend computer networks against criminal acts and terrorism, and develop systems that protect against cyber-attacks.”

While many schools are offering cybersecurity programs to graduate students, Regent is leading the way with only a handful of other institutions to make the in-demand career accessible to undergraduates. Regent has developed the new program, which includes courses from the university’s popular Information Systems Security program and its Homeland Security major. New to the mix will be a course concentrating completely on data-forensics.

“The students will be able to equip necessary state-of-the-art technologies with advanced knowledge in the areas of computer/network security, information systems, homeland security, telecommunications security, and other related disciplines to solve the outstanding security issues occurring in cyberspace over the Internet,” said CAS professor, Dr. Young Choi. “They will be ready to work in the public or private sectors to protect valuable assets of organizations they are working for and also can play crucial technical roles in defending against various malicious attacks coming from the outside world over the Internet.” In addition to data recovery, the program is centered around vulnerability assessments, wireless security, cryptography, web applications and hacking. Existing security courses at Regent are being enhanced to give the concentration a unique cybersecurity flavor. The new cybersecurity major will pull from information systems, criminal justice, advanced math, and ethics, adding up to eight courses and 24 credit hours.

“What we did was put together a pathway that students who are interested in fighting cyber crime have more or less already followed,” said Choi. “Now we’re giving it a name, cybersecurity, that will stand out to employers.”

As with all programs offered at Regent, the new cybersecurity major will be taught from a uniquely biblical perspective. It will aim to empower students to analyze information system theories and practices in the light of God’s revealed truth and apply professional, ethical and responsible behaviors to tangible technological situations from a biblical worldview.