CBA at the forefront of cyber-defense: UDM named Center of Excellence in Information Assurance by the NSA
In a post-9/11 world, protection of America’s critical information infrastructure is a national priority, and University of Detroit Mercy is now part of this effort to secure the nation’s information systems. The CIS curriculum at UDM has been accredited by the National Security Agency (NSA), making the University a Center of Excellence in Information Assurance. Only universities who have been certified through this process are eligible to participate in the INFOSEC (Information Security) awareness, training and education programs sponsored by the federal government to promote nationwide understanding and capability in information assurance. UDM is the first university in Michigan to be so recognized.
To attain this designation, UDM met the rigorous criteria established by the NSA and implemented through the National INFOSEC Education and Training Program (NIETP). This annual review process is highly competitive and involves strict scrutiny of curriculum by national experts. Since UDM is the first university in Michigan to receive this certification, representatives from the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security met with CBA Advisory Board members on the McNichols Campus in March to discuss the various ways that UDM and the federal government might partner to further this vital national priority.
Daniel Shoemaker, professor and academic discipline coordinator of Computer and Information Systems, was instrumental in obtaining the designation for UDM. He says, “The curriculum requirements for this program are very precise. Because UDM is relatively small and private, we were able to specifically design an entire area of study, based on the best practice recommendations of the nation’s experts, and then get it in place and deliver it to students in a matter of a year and a half.” Shoemaker is also director of UDM’s Centre for Assurance Studies, and is co-writing a book with information assurance expert Corey Schou, a project that “will attempt to provide the basic textbook for all information assurance programs worldwide.”