I’ve decided to apply to the University of Denver for my Masters. I’m going to study in the Information and Communications Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity Management. That is assuming I get in; hence why I’m applying. They are waving the application fee for the next few months, so lets see if they will take my money and admit me into the program!
Be prepared for a leadership role that strengthens organizations by understanding cybersecurity needs, risks, and best practices. Through experiential learning, case study analysis, and examination of leading security technologies taught by expert faculty, you'll learn critical management skills and strategies to develop a corporate cybersecurity plan. Gain insight to governance, compliance, and regulatory issues and considerations in the context of cybersecurity.
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I’ve always had an interest in computers and programming. After graduating from Colorado State University I had the opportunity to pursue my dream of building software for the web. After my first job I started to work for a health insurance company and I discovered a passion for compliance and security.
Over the last year, I’ve shifted from focusing on software development and architecture to security. My role has shifted and I see first hand how much development teams don’t understand fundamental security patterns. I see that our industry needs to take more seriously that software security is not a nice to have but a must have for delivery.
Over the last decade we’ve experienced a shift, everything is digital, from the phone in your pocket to the thermostat in your living room. The world is moving at breakneck speed to make everything smart. My garage opener has WiFi. While rapid development has taken place and innovation has been at the forefront of our imagination, security and safety has not.
Our cars, TVs, phones and thermostats have embedded WiFi and are connected to the internet. The average individual has neither the time nor concern about how their information is secured and protected. In my experience most corporations don’t take security seriously until there is an incident.
From Equifax to T-Mobile to PlayStation breaches, security isn’t just a nice to have or something that can be baked in after the software is developed, it has to be a part of the software development lifecycle.
My goal in joining the program is to bridge my knowledge of software engineering, building teams, and leading projects with learning about how I can lead organizations in tech and legal compliance. After this program, I want to become an engineering director and apply the cyber security management principles into delivery of software in real time.
Over the next 5-10 years, I see myself either running an information security consulting company or pursing the path of becoming a company’s CIO or CISO.
I also see the potential in writing books and offering training to software engineers in how to effectively secure their applications as well as helping their managers come up with a strategy long term in managing ever changing security issues while still delivering business value.
I believe that the world can continue to rapidly innovate and develop new technologies, as software professionals we need a new mindset with security as a design pattern in the systems we build, rather than an afterthought.
In my undergraduate work, I studied in a hybrid program, Applied Computing Technology. College was tough then, I had spent K to 12 as a homeschooler, learning mostly from reading text books and help from my mom. College was a big shock, I struggled heavily, my parents strongly encouraged me to work full time and I also lived at home. I failed a ton of classes but really learned how to stick through something. My graduate work is going to be a lot different. I plan to take 3-5 years and really focus on one class at a time. I’m studying an area of interest and passion. Furthermore, I know how to better regulate myself, work remotely and take better notes.
If you accept me into the program, you will find a dedicated, hard working professional who is serious about taking his career to the next level.