New M.S. in cybersecurity policy, governance

Science, Tech & Health / Technology | February 15, 2016

Kevin Powers is the program director for the new master's degree in cybersecurity policy and governance offered by the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College. With a combined 20 years of law enforcement, military, business, and teaching experience, Powers has worked as an attorney at the Department of Justice, U.S. Navy, and leading law firms in Boston and Washington, D.C., and has taught courses at Boston College, the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval Justice School, Boston University, and Northeastern University. In addition to his experience, he brings to the new degree program a network of contacts at local, state, and federal government agencies, and in the private sector. He provides an overview of the program in this Q&A.

What are the program's defining characteristics?
Our M.S. in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance will prepare students to bridge the communication gap between information technology security professionals and key business stakeholders, and to lead, design, and frame a business case for investment to senior executives, boards of directors, and government officials.  Taught by industry leaders and practitioners, students will learn, hands-on, to identify, assess, and manage cyber risk, and to develop and implement a proactive cybersecurity strategy to effectively defend, mitigate, and recover from a cyber-attack.  Our program emphasizes skills in leadership, ethics, management, analytic problem solving, and communication to prepare students to meet and respond to the varying issues presented by the rapidly changing cyber ecosystem.

What kinds of opportunities will be available for students who complete the program?
Depending on the student’s background, the following list provides a sampling of the positions that could be available:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Compliance Officer
  • Cyber & Network Security Director
  • Cybersecurity & Enterprise Services Director
  • Cyber Policy Analyst
  • Cyber Intelligence Analyst

Who teaches the courses in the program?
All of our faculty members have advanced degrees in their specific fields of expertise and are accomplished practitioners in private industry and government. Their specializations range from cybersecurity IT, to corporate governance, risk, and compliance, to forensics and investigations. As leaders in cybersecurity, our faculty members are shaping industry standards, while working with or for Fortune 500 companies, federal, state, and local governments, large national law and consulting firms in the Greater Boston area, and academic departments. Each faculty member is committed to equipping students with the necessary, real-world cybersecurity knowledge and skills to prepare them to meet and respond to the varying cybersecurity issues faced by private industry and government today.

What is your primary goal for the program?
My goal, by working with the Woods College of Advancing Studies team and my network of contacts, is to provide an innovative, robust, and “first rate” program that will continually evolve to address the fast changing and varying needs faced by those in government and private industry.