Brown University offers Ivy League CISO creds

New master’s program offers broad set of business-related topics

Freshly minted CISOs as well as other mid-career professionals with a need for a broad grounding in cybersecurity can get an advanced degree in the topic through a new program at Brown University.

The Executive Master in Cybersecurity set to launch in October is a 16-month program to instruct students in technology, law and policy, human behavior, and leadership-skills development. “What the industry is crying out for is interdisciplinary training,” says Alan Usas, the program director.

The idea is to prepare cybersecurity leaders who not only understand the technical needs of protecting data and privacy but who can also talk effectively to the boards of directors about these issues in a way that nets results for security and for business goals, he says.

But the program is also seeking professionals who have other uses for this broad education. For example, among applicants are employees of high-tech firms in sales positions who deal daily with CISOs, some newly appointed CISOs looking to solidify their skills, lawyers who deal with security and privacy policy, and tech investors seeking to develop a handbook on how startups should address their own cybersecurity.

This cross-pollination will give the class a variety of perspectives on cybersecurity and the opportunity to learn from others’ areas of expertise, Usas says.

The master’s program lasts 16 months starting Oct. 16 with a class of 25 to 30. It includes a week at Brown to kick off the program and another at the end to wrap it up, plus two more during the program. A fifth group week is planned for San Francisco where the class will meet with Silicon Valley executives who plot cybersecurity product strategies and non-profits who study policy issues.

The rest of the program is online, requiring 15 to 18 hours per week, most of the courses are designed so students can login to fit their own schedules. Some classes that require interaction among the students may have firm meeting times, he says.

Most applicants plan to keep their day jobs and to get help from their employers paying the $97,500 tuition and fees that doesn’t include travel and lodgings for the group gatherings during the program.

Everyone takes the same set of nine courses: Introduction to Computer Security; Advanced Topics in Computer Security; Applied Cryptography and Data Privacy; Human Factors in Computer Security and Data Privacy; Privacy and Personal Data Protection; Management of IT Systems and Cybersecurity Risks; Global Cyber Conflict: Law, Policy and Governance; The Future of Cybersecurity: Technology and Policy; Effective Leadership.

In addition, every student must complete a Critical Challenge Project that examines a security or privacy challenge facing an organization from multiple points of view and comes up with recommended solutions. They must write brief proposals for their projects as part of their applications.

The qualifications for acceptance are very broad, but there is no requirement for a computer science background. The program seeks people with five to 15 years’ experience.

The school came up with the idea two years ago and has been working since then to flesh out the curriculum.

Brown’s School of Professional Studies had a similar program for health care leadership, and there’s an executive MBA program in conjunction with a business school in Spain. The organizers reached out to corporations directly and via the university’s alumni associations.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about AdvancedTechnology

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tim Greene

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place