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Students at Idaho State University who choose to concentrate in Information Assurance are provided with an outstanding interdisciplinary program that brings together technology, policy and practice, and awareness, training, and education principles. Early in the program, students customarily complete the Security+ examination. Upon completion of the entire curriculum, they will be conversant will all aspects of the key Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) standards as well as the (ISC)2 certifications Systems Security Certified Professional (SSCP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) is part of the response to terrorism. Luckily there was an established model based on three classes of countermeasures or safeguards. Technology, Policy/Practice, and People. That successful model points out that awareness, training, and education make people effective countermeasures. (Maconachy, 2001; Petersen, 2004) The model shown in the Information Assurance Model, integrates countermeasures, states, and services.

The groundbreaking work in this area has brought about a change in thinking from in which academics accept, develop, and teach "countermeasures" to a goal in which we strive to live in an information technology world dominated by "safeguards" that focus on deterrence and prevention rather than protection and response.

Characteristics of the Program

The security program at Idaho State University is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that is characterized by the joint student and faculty involvement in learning and research. Everyone is expected to participate in an active, intentional learning process.

Learning is continuous. There is a constant interchange of information in both formal and informal classes and learning events. There are frequent seminars and classes offered during the week; these are led by both students and faculty. Students design their own learning projects that lead to research papers and thesis opportunities.

All courses in the program have thesis or project requirements.

Both the undergraduate and graduate Information Systems programs of the college of business have a required project or thesis. In the undergraduate program, the requirement is met in the CIS 482 advanced systems class. Students specializing in Information Assurance at the graduate level are expected to prepare a research paper, defend it before the faculty, and submit a research paper for publication.

All Information Assurance courses require research papers or projects.

The college of business course INFO 4411 requires a ‘publishable’ quality research paper in information security-related subjects. “The research paper topic will be established by agreement with the professor. The paper will contain original research components. Students are expected to submit their work for presentation or publication in some regional or national forum. It is anticipated that CS majors will focus on more technical issues while Business Informatics majors will focus on managerial topics. For all courses in the 5510-5516 series, the only way a student can receive an A is to publish a paper based on the course subject area.

NIATEC National Science Foundation Information Assurance Directorate Department of Homeland Security CISSE Scholarship For Service