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University of Southern California Trains Cyber Security Front Lines

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SOURCE USC Viterbi School of Engineering

DEN@Viterbi Expands Advanced Online Course Offerings For Nation's Cyber Security Professionals

LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Southern California (USC) announced today it will expand its course offerings for its popular Cyber Security program, part of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Informatics Program. These new courses will be offered online through USC's top-ranked DEN@Viterbi program, allowing working cyber security professionals to continue full-time careers while pursuing advanced degrees via DEN@Viterbi's state-of-the-art online delivery capabilities.

The new courses that will be offered online include Distributed Systems and Network Security and Secure Systems Engineering, among the roster of online courses currently offered.

The current need for advanced cyber security courses is extremely high and is matched by the rising number of cyber attackers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) predicts that more than 700,000 new cyber security professionals will be needed by 2015. Between Target's recent data breach, the Heartbleed bug and the recent eBay hack, where 145 million users' passwords were compromised, cyber security professionals must develop new tactics to circumvent increasingly sophisticated attacks and their associated costs. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the global cost of such malicious cyber attacks could reach as high as $3 trillion by 2020.

"In today's Internet age, there are two types of companies – those that are being hacked and know about it, and those that are being hacked and don't know," said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering. "Given our expertise in distance education through DEN@Viterbi, we understand USC has a strategic role in training our current security professionals to protect our country's vulnerable data and limit the financial damage attacks can inflict."

USC Viterbi's Cyber Security program was developed by the country's leading field experts including Dr. Clifford Neuman, research associate professor of Computer Science and principal designer of Kerberos (the user authentication system for Windows XP and 2000), and Dr. Barry Boehm, current Computer Science professor and former Department of Defense Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Information Science and Technology Office. Together, along with Dr. Blaine Burnham, Dr. Roger Schell and Lyndon Pierson, they form an elite group of cyber security experts that help serve as part of the program's academic leadership.  

To enroll, students have the option of choosing an on-campus or online program offered through DEN@Viterbi. A significant number of students choose to go through DEN@Viterbi because of the flexibility it offers – students can pursue their degree and still work full-time.

"Protecting our digital information is something that's constantly evolving. Developing the program coursework that reflects the real-time nature of cyber security is our specialty," said Binh Tran, DEN@Viterbi executive director. "That's why DEN@Viterbi is a perfect fit for cyber security professionals: the faculty includes some of the very the best cyber education leaders in the nation, and all the course content is accessible online so students can gain an edge without falling behind in their professional life."

USC is one of only four academic institutions that form Northrop Grumman's Cybersecurity Research Consortium. The program has also partnered with Talon Cyber Tec to validate the quality of the USC cyber initiative while also enhancing the expertise and capabilities of the program. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Informatics Program offers both a Master of Cyber Security, available via DEN@Viterbi, and a Master of Science in Data Informatics.

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering & DEN@Viterbi 
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 174 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering earned the No. 1 top honor in the 2014 U.S. News and World Report rankings for its Online Graduate Information Technology (Computer Science) program, and is the fourth-best ranked online graduate engineering program in the nation overall. These rankings recognize the programs' excellence in student engagement, student services and technology, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and admissions selectivity.

The Viterbi Distance Education Network (DEN@Viterbi), one of the first of its kind, was created in 1972 to address the continuing education needs of Southern California's aerospace industry. After four decades of growth and investment, Viterbi currently offers more than 40 online engineering graduate programs and professional courses from custom studio classrooms on the USC campus.

More information about DEN@Viterbi can be found online at viterbi.usc.edu/den, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, or follow our news on Twitter.

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