New Cybersecurity Class Open to All ComArtSci Students

Starting Spring 2018, ComArtSci is offering a new cybersecurity class open to all ComArtSci majors. The course, MI 491 section 005, will provide an overview of cybersecurity through the lens of the SLEPT (social, legal, political and technology) framework. 

The course will provide students with the basic knowledge they need to navigate the world of technology and cybersecurity. Many companies deal with cybersecurity threats, issues and related ethical dilemmas, which is why it is important for all students to gain these technical skills. 

Professionals will speak to the class and share their experiences of how cybersecurity impacts their work, as well as provide advice for students interested in pursuing a career in the industry. Although no prerequisites or computer programming skills are required, students will participate in simple experiential labs that demonstrate the basics of cybersecurity. 

The course instructor, Ruth Shillair, doctoral candidate of Information and Media, spent the last few years working with a research team that studied online banking adoption and how age impacts the trust and use of technology. 

“I began to see the impact that cybersecurity issues had on people’s lives,” Shillair said. “Many people worried about identity theft, felt threatened or limited their engagement in technology because they didn’t understand how to protect themselves. However, those who had basic training in how to protect themselves took better precautions and had lower levels of fear and anxiety.”

Shillair’s inspiration for the class came from observing the need to develop policies and initiatives to inform and protect individuals. 

“No matter what job a student has in the future, having a good understanding of cybersecurity issues and policies will help them in their future endeavors,” Shillair said. 

While the class is currently only open to ComArtSci students, any non-ComArtSci majors can apply for an override to access the enrollment for the course. 

The class will be located in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences Room 175 and will be held on Thursdays from 6-8:50 p.m. 

By Rianna N. Middleton