Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate

Cybersecurity workshop for small businesses to be held Thursday at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2017 — Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey and several of his graduate-level students in the Breech School of Business will offer a free workshop on “Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in Room 200 in the Breech building.

Information security is a top priority for anyone who owns or manages a business. The session will cover steps today’s small business leaders can take to protect their operations and their customers’ data. Dr. McMurtrey, an award-winning cybersecurity expert, will facilitate the session. There will be time for Q&A at the end, and light refreshments will be provided.

“One of the most pressing concerns for many small businesses owners today is protecting their systems and data from hackers,” McMurtrey says. “Graduate students in the Drury Cybersecurity Leadership program will share their research in areas important to small businesses, including information security policy, social engineering attack vectors, and cyber-warfare.”

For more information or to RSVP for the event, call (417) 873-7508.

About the Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

Today’s employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. The new Cybersecurity Leadership coursework can be completed in one year and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management.

For more information, visit: www.drury.edu/cybersecurity.

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Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242 or smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

Drury faculty member earns recognition from area technology professionals

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 2, 2017 — Biz 417 Magazine and the Association of Information Technology Professionals of the Ozarks have named Drury University professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey “Security Professional of the Year.”

The award was announced Thursday night at the inaugural Excellence in Technology Awards, held at the Old Glass Place in downtown Springfield.

Shannon McMurtrey

McMurtrey joined the Drury faculty last fall as an assistant professor of information management systems within Drury’s Breech School of Business. He has been a leader in information technology circles for two decades, first with the launch of online shopping cart platform Cart32, and later teaching at Missouri State University. He is now spearheading Drury’s newly created Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate Program, which is a graduate-level program designed to help business professionals of all types understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks and manage risk.

“I am very humbled to be recognized in this way knowing that our community is filled with strong talent in the field of cybersecurity,” McMurtrey said. “Having my Drury family with me to help celebrate made for a very special night.”

“Shannon is committed to remaining on the cutting edge of issues affecting cybersecurity through developing himself as an expert in the field. Sharing his knowledge through speaking engagements and involvement in community events continues to have a positive impact on cybersecurity professionals locally and across the country,” said Barbie Kolb, one of the judges for the award.

For more information about the Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate Program, visit www.drury.edu/cybersecurity. For more information about Dr. McMurtrey, check out our Q&A about the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.

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Recent headlines loom large during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 4, 2016 — October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The task of protecting hardware, software and data from hackers and thieves becomes more difficult – and more important – all the time.

In just the last few weeks, cybersecurity issues have been prominent in national headlines. These stories are excellent examples of how leaders and managers at all levels, and across all sectors of the economy, need to be informed about cybersecurity. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. Employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity expert and Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey is available to speak to media about these recent headlines, and cybersecurity generally.

  • This summer, hackers leaked nearly 20,000 emails from the database of the Democratic National Committee, forcing the resignation of the DNC chairwoman.
  • Last month, Yahoo announced that some 500 million user accounts had been compromised by an unnamed foreign government. The massive breach exposed a failure by Yahoo’s senior leadership to prioritize security during an attempt to turn around the company’s fortunes.
  • The FBI is investigating hacks into the databases of election boards in two states, and FBI Director James Comey recently told Congress that hackers could cast doubt on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election in November. Although the overall integrity of the election is not in peril, Comey said the mere appearance of meddling would be cause for concern.
  • In recent days cybersecurity guru and independent journalist Brian Krebs, who runs the blog Krebs on Security, renewed his wake-up call to the larger online community about the danger posed by the open network of everyday devices known as the “Internet of Things” after his site was knocked offline by one of the largest DDoS attacks yet seen.
  • In 2015, news broke that the federal Office of Personnel Management had been hacked, leading to the breach of information on the personnel files on 4.2 million former and current government employees. A new House committee report on the breach said leadership at OPM failed to implement recommended security improvements that could have prevented the attack. The report said the “absence of an effective managerial structure to implement reliable IT security policies” meant fundamental weaknesses remained.

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Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 861-8884, (417) 873-7242 or smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

Drury launches graduate-level Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business is launching a new graduate-level certificate program in Cybersecurity Leadership this fall. Classes begin August 22. New Drury faculty member Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – a well-respected expert in the field who co-created one of the first commercial e-commerce platforms – spearheads the program.

Employers are increasingly seeking to hire business leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend and respond to cybersecurity attacks. Employment opportunities for all types of information security professionals are growing, but the need is especially great for managers and leaders who understand how cybersecurity fits within the complex picture of today’s business environment.

“The focus on leadership sets this program apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, dean of Drury’s College of Graduate Studies. “It combines cutting-edge technical knowledge with business acumen, and fits squarely within Drury’s liberal arts tradition.”

READ MORE: Q&A with Dr. McMurtrey about joining the DU faculty.

The Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate comprises five courses totaling 16 hours, and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds – not just CIS majors. Courses include labs and learning experiences that help prepare professionals to secure and defend information systems. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students will also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management. Preparation for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) certification exam is included in the coursework.

McMurtrey, who has more than 15 years teaching experience, says the program’s focus on skills beyond the merely technical is a boon for students at any stage of their career.

“Programming languages change and technology changes,” McMurtrey says. “As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages.”

For more information, go to: http://www.drury.edu/mba/cybersecurity-leadership

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Media Contacts: Dr. Regina Waters – Dean, College of Graduate Studies: (417) 873-7251 or rwaters@drury.edu; or Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242; Email: smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

 

Q&A with Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Cybersecurity expert comes to Drury

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey comes to Drury this fall after 15 years teaching at Missouri State University. Dr. McMurtrey is a well-respected expert in the fields of both higher education and cybersecurity. McMurtrey will head the newly created Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate Program, and will bring his expertise to other courses in Drury’s Breech School of Business curriculum as well. As he enters the classroom environment at Drury, we asked him to tell us about his background and why a liberal arts university is such a good fit for a teacher in the tech field.

Question: What’s your background in this field?

Answer: “I started working in the industry while I was an undergraduate student, doing custom development for companies here in Springfield, which eventually evolved into us creating a shopping cart program in 1996. That company – Cart32.com – still exists, primarily as a payment gateway. From there, I was invited to teach a software development class at Missouri State. That’s where I discovered I had a love for teaching and felt like I had a future in the classroom. I shifted to focusing on education full time in 2003 and have been teaching since then.”

Shannon McMurtrey

How do you stay connected to the industry and up to date?

“One of the challenges in this field is just keeping current. One of the ways we did that at Cart32 was to study what the hackers were doing. We went to chat rooms and forums and just learned their techniques. We felt the best defense was to at least understand what the offense was doing. So I’ve always tried to stay current on hacking techniques. Today, it’s such a huge field that there are all kinds of really good classes and trainings that you can participate in. So I also attend those kinds of classes and maintain industry certifications to stay current.”

What do you love about teaching?

“I love seeing that light bulb go off. When I first started teaching programming I noticed that I connected with the students who were struggling but really wanted to learn. As long as they had that desire to learn it really ignited in me that desire to teach. And I just really like that. I enjoy seeing the same passion that I have for this industry in students as they learn and grow. I just truly enjoy that.”

What has attracted you to Drury and our way of doing things here?

“You know, it’s exactly that. It’s the focus on the student and the excellence in teaching. There seems to be a real appreciation for excellence in the classroom and for connecting with students. That’s what attracted me to teaching to begin with. So I think being in an environment where that skill is highly valued will challenge me to continue to get better as a teacher and do better in the classroom, so that environment is very challenging to me.”

How will you bring your cybersecurity expertise into the classroom at Drury and how will you incorporate it into the business curriculum?

“Students will see it in the current courses such as the management information systems course at the undergraduate level and one that’s currently part of the MBA program. I will definitely be incorporating cybersecurity into those courses to help students appreciate the role they play in cybersecruity. I think that’s something that a lot of businesses are starting to wake up to, is the lack of leadership in that area. So helping future business professionals understand their role in cybersecurity is something I’m very passionate about.”

Are you a business teacher or a computer science teacher?

“It’s a great question. When earning my undergraduate degree, I started off in computer information systems. But I changed it to marketing because I realized it was going to be more important for me to learn what business leaders needed from their systems as opposed to learning how to create the systems, because programming languages change and technology changes. As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages. How can we use technology in a strategic way for competitive advantage? So I think I would consider myself certainly more of a business teacher that leverages technology.”

Business and technology certainly overlap. But why come to a liberal arts institution to teach them?

“One of the dangers we have in our field is that if you focus exclusively on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – you run the danger of creating robots. But embedding that into a liberal arts education is really appealing to me. Some of the most creative solutions in software and cybersecurity, really anywhere in technology, come from artists, to be honest with you – people who have interests beyond technology. They tend to be artists or painters; they tend to be very creative people. One of the things that really attracts me to this field is the diversity of the people involved in this profession.”

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