Pic_marshAbstract: The Challenge of Keeping Cybersecurity Education Programs Current

The rapid growth of cybersecurity yields a strong job market for well-educated cyber engineers trained in current technologies, and a concurrent strong demand for top-notch undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity programs. The challenge for educators is to keep curricula current with the rapid pace of development and change in the field. Indeed, this rapid evolution means up-to-date and rigorous textbooks in cybersecurity best practices do not exist. This presentation outlines activities we take at SUNY Polytechnic Institute to keep our cybersecurity programs current. The essential element in this initiative is relationships with industry partners who implement cutting-edge solutions to network and computer security challenges. Students are exposed to current industry practices through many avenues: course materials prepared in consultation with industry experts, an invited lecture series hosting industry partners, a senior project mentoring program, advanced elective credit for internships, on-campus internships, curricular practical training for international graduate students, support for conference attendance, and participation in cybersecurity competitions. SUNY Polytechnic Institute launched its BS program Network and Computer Security (NCS) in Fall 2011. This program has since grown rapidly, and our graduates have gone to top-tier companies of all sizes such as Cisco, AFRL, Time Warner Cable, Harris Communications, Quanterion Solutions, Target Mobile Care, Dell Secureworks, NBT Bancorp, and New York Central Mutual. Our MS program was announced in Fall 2013, and serves professionals in the field seeking career advancement. Based out of the Computer Science department, both are fully technical degree programs, preparing students for careers in the IT sector as well as work in cybersecurity research.


John A. Marsh is an associate professor of Computer Science at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute (formerly SUNY Institute of Technology, SUNYIT). He holds a MS in Mathematics from Ohio University, and a PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a Link Energy Fellow. His research background includes a post-doctoral fellowship at the College de France in Paris, studying in the laboratory of P.G. deGennes. Professor Marsh has recently served as chair for the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and has led cybersecurity program development at SUNY Poly, having introduced the undergraduate Network and Computer Security (NCS) program in Fall 2011, and the NCS graduate program in Fall 2013. His current research interests are in the area of information assurance/cybersecurity. His background includes both academic and industry experience. His varied interests have led to published work in several fields of science and technology, including cybersecurity, information theory, statistical physics, integrated optics, optical network testing, and surface physics. His industrial experience includes engineering leadership and product development positions at Nettest (fiber optic network test equipment), and JDSU (integrated optics). Product development experience includes optical switching and multiplexing components fielded in Lucent high-capacity optical transport systems. His integrated optics experience also includes research in design and fabrication of a linearized optical electro-optic modulator and a special 10 Gbps optical modulator for use in quantum cryptography.