• Law, Policy -- and IT?

    Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).


Introducing TACC!

The UMass Trust, Assurance and Cybersecurity Certificate Program.

May 2, 2016

It is with pleasure that I introduce a unique, new information management and cybersecurity program hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst: Trust, Assurance and Cybersecurity Certificate Program

As a bona fide academic program consisting of four courses and 15 credits, it is unique because it occupies a space between matriculated degree programs in cybersecurity and non-academic “little c” certificates such as CISSP or SANS.  It is also much more than cybersecurity.  Trust and assurance speak to Internet governance, law, policy, regulatory compliance, information privacy and security management.  Hence the name, and acronym, TACC. 

It is new because it just started this week!

TACC is designed to fill gaps in the academic understanding and working practice of information risk management.  Long recognized as a moving target, information management has remained for over a decade in the top tier of IT issues for higher education … and for corporate American writ large.  Intervening issues such as the Apple iPhone case for electronic surveillance or GAFE for consumer and enterprise privacy, for example, intersect with the requirements for sound privacy and security practices in formation of cloud computing contracts.  In a world without global Internet governance, cybersecurity remains a paramount challenge. The course work for TACC touches on all of these issues as well as much, much more  in the implementation of risk assessment and operational policy, technical cybersecurity and information management programs in a corporate environment – including profit and not-for-profit institutions, education and government.    

Instruction will occur in the UMass Springfield Center, on Main Street in downtown Springfield.  Currently face-to-face classes (on Tuesday and Thursday evenings) and pointed toward the “Knowledge Corridor along route 91,” we hope in time to add distance and blending learning components to it.  So, too, do we hope to extend its reach to international students.  On May 12, for example, I will be speaking remotely at the Rome AMICAL conference introducing them to the program.  Finally, we will soon host speakers at the Center — which I expect to stream — and, fingers crossed, a conference later this year. 

How frequently have we expressed the desire for deeper administrative, technical and institutional understanding and sound practices in cybersecurity and information management?  UMass Amherst, in conjunction with the the University of Massachusetts President’s Office, announces this program (together with its extensive degree programs in computer science, cybersecurity security and data science in the College of Information and Computer Science) to contribute in an on-going manner to this national conversation. We hope that over time the higher education community in one form or another will join us!


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