Auburn’s Harbert College of Business launches graduate certificate in cybersecurity management

Unique curriculum for business professionals expands upon Auburn’s nationally recognized cybersecurity leadership

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Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business has launched a new graduate certificate in cybersecurity management designed to provide business professionals with the skills they need to manage operational exposure in today’s high-risk threat environment.

The new program builds upon Auburn’s national leadership in cybersecurity policy and engineering research, including extensive work being conducted at the Auburn Cyber Research Center, McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security and its Washington, D.C.-based Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Rather than focus on the technical aspects of threat identification, the new graduate certificate in cybersecurity management enables IT professionals and other business managers to successfully evaluate security measures, assess organizational threat exposure and develop effective contingency plans for mitigating risk across all business operations.

The graduate certificate in cybersecurity management is available online and on campus, and business professionals may pursue this graduate certificate without being enrolled in a broader master’s degree program. The curriculum has been designed to provide deep immersion into the knowledge required to prepare for three critical professional certification exams: the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam, the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) exam and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam.

Certificate credits earned through the graduate certificate in cybersecurity management could later be applied to graduate business degrees at Auburn or other universities. Additionally, Auburn’s full-time, online and executive MBA students, as well as master’s degree students in information systems, can pursue both a concentration and a certificate in cybersecurity management.

Frank J. Cilluffo, director of Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, applauded the new graduate certificate and pointed to the increased threat all businesses face in emphasizing why cybersecurity is an enterprise-wide endeavor.

“A company’s IT/cyber team should not be in the fight alone,” said Cilluffo. “Adopting good practices and striving to comply with pertinent regulations is important, but it is crucial to consistently assess the potential risks and adjust those policies and practices accordingly. Genuine security will never be achieved by a ‘check-the-box’ mentality, which loses sight of this bigger picture, and wrongly assumes that fulfillment of a checklist alone will protect you.”

Cilluffo noted that one important concern for businesses today is the prevalence of ransomware attacks, which were up 195 percent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Data breaches are another ongoing concern for all businesses, with the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study citing the average cost for a data breach in the United States at $7.9 million, with costs rising into the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in the most serious of cases.

The graduate certificate in cybersecurity management complements the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Master of Science in cybersecurity engineering, which focuses on the engineering and technical aspects of cybersecurity. The engineering degree is designed to appeal to technical practitioners as well as engineering research scholars.

For more information and directions for applying for the graduate certificate in cybersecurity management, visit here or contact Graduate Programs Officer Dianne Hall at

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. World-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice in emerging business disciplines. The college’s alumni, friends and corporate partners actively support and engage faculty and students to integrate business theory with practical experience and instill the level of professional proficiency and personal integrity demanded by employers around the globe. Learn more at