Carnegie Mellon University
February 08, 2012

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute Launches Novel Online Information Assurance Program for Global Leaders

New Program Designed To Meet Hectic Schedules of Global Tech Executives

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

PITTSBURGH—Dealing with cyber threats has become the new norm. As cyber criminals increasingly launch crippling attacks that hamper business and threaten security, organizations struggle to find technology savvy executives to lead strategies that protect and defend information across the enterprise.

To support strategic leadership, Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute (INI) will offer an Executive Master of Science in Information Assurance (ExecMSIA) Program beginning in fall 2012. Flexible to fit easily with frenetic career schedules, the ExecMSIA offers a concentration in cyber forensics and incident response (CyFIR) or resilience management. The two concentrations will be led by instructors in the CERT Program of the Software Engineering Institute. An option also is available for non-degree students to pursue certificates in these two areas.

The new program is designed to help a broad swath of business leaders and novel tech experts to see cybersecurity as a top priority, and to learn how to use tools like forensics to track adversaries.

"This is an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the needs of today's fast-paced global business environment combining online sessions with periodic, short sessions on the Carnegie Mellon campus," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI director and director of education, training and outreach for Carnegie Mellon CyLab, one of the largest university-based cybersecurity education and research centers in the U.S.

"Students pursue the program with a cohort of about 20 peers, who add enrichment to each other's professional network and enhance learning by sharing their own knowledge that has come from experience," said Tsamitis, who is part of a presentation Feb. 27-March 2 on the Cyber Security School Challenge at the RSA Information Security Conference in San Francisco.

The INI program runs 20 months, is made up of five semesters, and students will spend a total of 24 days on campus over the course of the program. In each semester, students will complete six hours of coursework in online recitations during 1.5-hour sessions held on four Saturdays. During those virtual, interactive sessions, students will participate in activities such as laboratory exercises, mock hearings, group meetings, case study discussions, presentations and problem-driven scenarios.

The CyFIR concentration, for example, is designed to equip the next generation of executives with the knowledge, skill sets and experiences to successfully plan for and manage the inevitabilities of a cyber attack.

"The INI continues to pioneer change in cybersecurity with the release of their executive MSIA program, which has been specifically tailored to meet the nation's growing cyber threats head on. The ExecMSIA program enables senior managers to collaborate across public and private sectors to build a network of cyber professionals uniquely capable of addressing the nation's most pressing security challenges," said Nicholas Lamb, president and CEO of BCOS Inc., a computer hardware and software security company located in Columbia, Md.

The program application deadlines are April 30 (first round) and June 30 (second round). Details on how to apply appear at: