NOVEMBER 17, 2004

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Federal certification gives OSU-Okmulgee students edge in seeking cyber security jobs

Information Assurance & Forensics student Pablo Sevilla of Gore, OK, uses a retina scanner in one of OSU-Okmulgee's new SBC Cyber Security labs.

Information Technologies students at OSU-Okmulgee may soon be qualified for a wider variety of Cyber Security employment in government and industry. Officials have learned the college's Information Assurance and Forensics program received two security certifications from the National Security Agency's (NSA) Committee on National Security Systems. The NSA, the high-technology governmental organization that oversees protection of U.S. information systems, also ensures that colleges and universities comply with national standards for information assurance education and training.

Scott Newman, Chair for OSU-Okmulgee's Information Technologies Division says, "Businesses and governmental agencies have a growing need for expertise in information and telecommunications security. These certificates assure employers that our graduates can operate at a high level in IT and telecommunications security, thereby increasing career opportunities for our graduates." Currently, OSU-Okmulgee, Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa are the only three Oklahoma higher education institutions that have been certified by the National Security Agency.

According to NSA certification guidelines, certificate 4011 establishes the standards for the training of information systems security professionals. Certificate 4012 focuses on the evaluation of information systems architecture, security measures, operations policy, and system security management plans. Both 4011 and 4012 ensure employees are able to apply NSA security standards on the job.

To take advantage of OSU-Okmulgee's new Bachelor of Technology degree in Information Assurance and Forensics and the NSA certificates, Rose State College and Tulsa Community College recently signed academic articulation agreements with the college. Under the agreements, students studying Cyber Security at Rose State and TCC will be able to transfer their credits to OSU-Okmulgee for completion of the bachelor's degree in Information Assurance and Forensics.

OSU-Okmulgee is sharing in a $3-million dollar Cyber Security grant awarded in October to a consortium of Oklahoma educational institutions. Also in October, OSU-Okmulgee opened two new, state-of-the-art Cyber Security labs funded by an SBC Excelerator grant.

In the Information Assurance and Forensics program, individuals learn to protect computers and networks from worms, viruses and hackers, and to investigate illegal and illicit computer-related activities. Students at OSU-Okmulgee may study Cyber Security at the associate and bachelor degree levels.

Newman says the Information Assurance and Forensics program will be officially recognized for its achievement by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Information Infrastructure at the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Spring 2005 Conference.

For more information on the OSU-Okmulgee Information Assurance and Forensics program, contact the Information Technologies Division at 918.293.5440 or IT@osu-okmulgee.edu.