Middle Georgia State Shares Cyber Security Expertise With Robert Morris University

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, August 10, 2015 2:32 PM
Categories: School of Information Technology | Pressroom

Macon, GA

Middle Georgia State University is partnering with Robert Morris University (RMU) to train faculty and students at the Pittsburgh, Pa., institution in mobile Internet security.

Under a $224,000 National Science Foundation grant, and also in partnership with the Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium, Middle Georgia State will help Robert Morris University launch a Mobile Forensics and Security certificate program. Students will be able to complete the program online to learn how to secure and analyze mobile devices and networks against cybercrime.

The grant will also fund a “train the trainer” initiative in which 40 RMU computer and information systems faculty members will be trained by Middle Georgia State School of Information Technology faculty to teach the certificate program to their own students.

“We are excited about this excellent opportunity to partner with RMU," said Dr. Alex Koohang, dean of Middle Georgia State's School of IT. "I am confident that this partnership will produce excellent forensics and cyber security education to the faculty, preparing them to train students to improve and protect the security of networks, information and information systems.”

Few people give much thought to how vulnerable their mobile devices are to theft and hacking, said Karen Paullet, assistant professor of computer and information systems at RMU. Paullet is directing the mobile security project at RMU along with Jamie Pinchot, associate professor of computer and information systems, and Sushma Mishra, assistant professor of computer and information systems.

Paullet notes that smartphone users perform sensitive tasks such as online banking over unsecured mobile networks.

“By jumping on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you are enabling people to intercept your phone calls and intercept your text messages. People tend to keep their email logged on so that they receive instant alerts, making the information very easy to retrieve illicitly,” said Paullet.

Demand for employees trained in mobile security will outstrip the demand for traditional IT security staff, who are themselves in short supply, according to Jack Vrtar, manager of the IS Security Group at Westinghouse Electric Company. Vrtar said mobile devices are a boon for productivity but pose a security risk owing to employees’ personal devices as well as company-issued smartphones and tablets.

“The majority of malware being written today is targeting Android and other mobile devices. Existing security tools are minimally effective, and most people do not want to install basic security on their personal devices as it impacts usability,” said Vrtar. “Companies will need to invest in and adopt new security tools.”

Middle Georgia State is a member of the Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium, which works to expand opportunities in IT for groups underrepresented in the industry.

The School of IT offers bachelor's degrees in IT, including one fully online, with concentrations in information assurance & security; network technology and administration; software development; gaming design and development; integrated digital media; and digital forensics. Minors are available in web design and instructional technology.

Sources: Robert Morris University and Middle Georgia State's School of IT.