Track to cover cybersecurity, risk management, and systems analysis

Beginning in spring 2015, George Mason University's School of Business will offer a Critical Infrastructure track as part of its Executive MBA program.

Aimed at government leaders, private-sector professionals, and those in the military, the new track will introduce participants to the increasingly high-stakes security risks of today's world.  "Much of our physical infrastructure—electric power grids, water supplies, bridges and tunnels—remains unprotected," says J. P. Auffret, Mason's director of executive degree programs. "In addition, computer-based attacks pose significant danger because more and more of our control systems are connected to the Internet."

To help executives prepare for and mitigate these and other risks, the new track will address topics like cybersecurity, risk management, and systems analysis, through courses like "Foundations of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience" and "Assessing and Managing Risk to Critical Infrastructure Systems."

The curriculum also covers topics in general management; participants will take classes such as "Financial Markets" and "Services and Operations Management."

EMBA students will also participate in two Washington DC residencies, where they will meet with policymakers, government officials and business leaders to discuss contemporary infrastructure issues.

Mason's EMBA takes place over 18 months and can be completed either in-class or online. Optionally, students can also take advantage of a global residency in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, or South America.

Perhaps because of its proximity to government and military agencies, the Washington DC area has become a hotbed for MBA programs focused in defense and cybersecurity. George Washington University offers an EMBA with a concentration in cybersecurity, for instance, and James Madison University offers an Information Security MBA. Also, Georgetown University's Security Studies Program, while officially a master of arts program, is sometimes referred to as a "defense MBA" because of the diversity of the program curriculum.

George Mason also offers a National Defense EMBA, which is aimed at leaders in the defense industry.

For more information about George Mason's new Critical Infrastructure EMBA track, please see the school's recent press release: "Meeting Changing Needs: Executive MBA Program Offers Critical Infrastructure Track.

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