We’re heading toward a massive worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Tufts graduates will be there to help.
WHEN EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED to the internet, everything is at risk. Sometimes, the hackers get us piecemeal, through our smartphones and credit cards. Sometimes, the toll is bigger. Last year, the entire city of Atlanta was crippled by a massive ransomware attack. Two years before that, it was Russian meddling in US elections.
According to a 2016 report by Norton, there are twenty-three victims of malicious cyber activity every second. And yet, incredibly, “most computer science departments don’t even teach security,” said Tufts senior lecturer Ming Chow. Something, Chow added, “is clearly terribly wrong.”
Tufts is changing that. This fall, the department announced a new cybersecurity focus for students who want to specialize in the field. Led by Chow, the track includes not only technical computer science coursework, but also a half-dozen electives—many of them interdisciplinary—to help students place that knowledge in a global context. For instance, a course on cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, taught cooperatively by Chow and the political science department’s Jeffrey Taliaferro, looks at the effects of technology on statecraft and international relations. Other courses explore the ramifications of cyberthreats in the legal and civil arenas. In the new world of cybersecurity, “both breadth and depth are important,” Chow said.
The change can’t come soon enough. The firm Cybersecurity Ventures reports that, unless current trends change, we’re heading toward a massive worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals, with 3.5 million unfilled positions by 2021. Tufts graduates will be there to help.
Read more: Teaching Cybersecurity