The class teaches businesses to fight cyber threats like these.

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New cyber security program launches

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By Noushin Ziafati

Spending money on advanced firewalls or intrusion protection systems is not enough to ward businesses from cyber threats, according to Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management professor Farid Shirazi.

For that reason, the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) launched the new Enterprise Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection program this January.

“Security is not just [installing] … expensive devices to monitor digital traffic. Security is also to train people and that training is very important to give,” Shirazi said.

The professional master’s diploma program will have four courses, which will provide the technical and management knowledge needed to monitor and manage cyber threats, and information on law, compliance, audit and computer crime.

The final course provides students with a chance to tackle an individual capstone project that will address a specific issue or problem in security, privacy and data protection.

The program’s content originates from the Department of Computer Science, but the professors involved in the project have worked on bringing a management perspective to cyber security and privacy threats that businesses face.

“The traditional, classic security management or privacy management is not enough,” Shirazi said. “That’s why in this course we not only focus on the technical aspects of security and privacy which is a small part of this, but rather focus on how to manage security.”

Shirazi was involved with the development of the course from the beginning. He has a background in computer security and teaches networking and security courses at TRSM. He is now one of the faculty members of this new program.

Professionals and experts in the field, from the Ted Rogers School of Law and Business, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management and the Department of Computer Science have worked together in the development of the program, which Shirazi calls a “pilot project.”

“It’s not a fixed program because the area of security and privacy [is] evolving the whole time and we are ready for that. That’s the key point; that we have to be up to date in order to bring the latest technology and the latest solutions to various issues,” Shirazi said.

The program developers also worked in collaboration with Ryerson University’s Privacy and Big Data Institute to bring this program together.

The program is offered to people who have at least two years of working experience in the field and have completed a bachelor’s degree.

Students that are currently enrolled in the program range from people in the bank industry, to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that are targeting cybercrime and cyber security, to people interested in business management.

Shirazi believes that a new generation of managers must emerge which understands the positive aspects of being connected to a global market, and at the same time understand the risks associated with big data and social media, among others.

“We need more of these types of programs to be successful; to fill the gap between technology that runs at the speed of light and the society, people, to protect the citizens of Canada,” he said.

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