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U Maryland Hosts Cybersecurity Competition

The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has launched a competition that invites participants to ponder how best to protect sensitive data on networks and online. The $1,000 Gordon Prize in Managing Cybersecurity Resources will be awarded to the best essay submitted that provides and describes a clear, innovative solution to the problem associated with managing cybersecurity resources.

"Cybersecurity is critical in today's global economy that is so interconnected by technology," said Lawrence Gordon, a professor of managerial accounting and information assurance, after whom the competition is named. "Individuals, organizations, and governments must shore up vulnerabilities and have the ability to fight off cyber crime, fraud, and even terrorists. Cyber attacks can result in direct financial loss via theft or embezzlement, data breaches, business and government disruptions, poor customer relations, legal liabilities, and in some cases infrastructure failure."

Gordon has spent the past decade studying the economic issues related to cybersecurity. With frequent collaborator Martin P. Loeb, Gordon started exploring the idea of applying economic concepts such as cost-benefit analysis to cybersecurity issues in 1998. The Gordon-Loeb model presents an economic framework that helps managers evaluate the right amount of resources to expend on information security. In 2003, Gordon instituted the Smith School's annual Cybersecurity Forum, a conference that brings together academic and industry experts.

The prize will be offered yearly, and the competition is open to students, faculty, and information security professionals in both the public and private sector. The deadline for entries is August 1, 2009. The winner will be announced in October.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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