Tuesday, May 28, 2013

UIS seeks to offer computer security degree

The University of Illinois Springfield hopes to offer a new degree major in fall 2014 in response to what experts say is a growing need for computer systems security specialists.

“We pinpointed a need for more systems security professionals in Illinois,” said Lucas Vespa, assistant professor of computer science at UIS who wrote the proposal for the new degree. “We felt a major was needed to cover the breadth of knowledge that is needed.”

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on approving the new major at its meeting Tuesday in Chicago. If the trustees OK the major, it will go to the Illinois Board of Higher Education for final approval.

Computer security breaches — or at least the number we hear about — seem to be increasing. Most recently locally, the Schnucks supermarket chain suffered a breach that potentially affected up to 2.4 million credit and debit card users.

“The severity is increasing,” Vespa said. “It’s much harder to maintain these systems. It is a constant uphill battle.”

UIS currently offers a bachelor of science degree in computer science on one of two tracks — programming and information systems security.

The story was featured by The State Journal-Register on May 27, 2013.

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