University to launch graduate program in information security

News Date: 
Thu. 05/15/2014

Friends University will be training some of the fiercest warriors in the battle against cyber warfare through its new Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) program.

The MSIS program, which will offer its first class in fall 2014, is designed to fill the growing need for a qualified and vigilant information security workforce. Recent public concerns about information security breaches, computer hacking and cyber warfare present a real and present danger to computer systems and their underlying infrastructure. A few examples of current and ongoing security concerns include: Stuxnet virus in 2010; CIA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013; Target stores’ security breach in 2013; and the Internet Explorer security flaw in 2014.

“Industry expectations for security continue to grow and develop,” said Dr. David Hofmeister, dean of the Friends University Graduate School. “As we learned with several recent security breaches in industry and government, just knowing about security is not enough to protect the organization. What the program provides its students is the capacity to protect systems and what to do when the breach occurs at both technological and managerial levels."

Graduate-level information systems curriculum is a first for Wichita and the surrounding region, said Dr. Mark Sanborn, director of the MSIS program.

“The MSIS program stands unique in that it builds on a well-established information systems curriculum with emphasis on security implications and methodologies for design, implementation, management, and mitigation strategies for secure systems,” Dr. Sanborn said. “During their program of study, students focus on current research activities in the field of information security and use active learning to develop the skills necessary to protect an organization’s technology and information assets.  The MSIS program’s courses are taught by professionals with actual field experience or academic research credentials."

The MSIS degree is intended for anyone who wants to acquire advanced knowledge concerning information security. This includes individuals who are seeking a career change and are new to the field of information systems and security, information technology professionals seeking positions in information security or management positions focused on information security, and individuals seeking advanced studies toward terminal degrees in information security.

Career opportunities for those who complete an MSIS degree are virtually unlimited and include “any industry that employs an IT workforce, government and non-government organizations, information security and information technology contracting organizations, law enforcement, etc.,” Dr. Sanborn said.

The program will be offered on campus in Wichita and is also available online for students outside the Wichita area.

For more information about this program, visit or contact  Wichita area residents can also call 316-295-5300.  Topeka area residents can also call the local Friends University office at 785-272-9595.

Friends University offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs for traditional students and working adults. Rooted both in the liberal arts tradition and the Christian intellectual tradition, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Friends University is a regional university with national programs and an international presence. The University has offices in Wichita, Topeka and the greater Kansas City area and offers online programs for students from many other areas.

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