IBM Academic Initiative Tackles Compliance at U Missouri

The University of Missouri (MU) has teamed with IBM to arm its students with the latest information technology (IT) security and compliance training. This training will help MU students acquire the expertise required to help reduce the risk of financial losses caused through non-compliance.

This semester, MU's Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business will use software and resources from IBM's Academic Initiative to strengthen its Information Systems Control and Assurance education with a new security component. About 60 students will complete the course each year as part of the School of Accountancy's 150-hour master's of accountancy program.

"Data theft, compliance and security incidents are on the front lines of mainstream news. Our students will understand that traditional controls can be ineffective against newer web-based threats," said Elaine Mauldin, a professor in the accountancy program, in a statement released Monday. "Today's workplace requires more than just security tools--it also requires employees skilled in security compliance auditing and best practices.... Our students will be better prepared to enter the workforce as a result of this new and innovative curriculum."

The business school has incorporated IBM's web application security software--called Rational AppScan--as a key part of its IT audit curriculum, using the technology to enhance real world security auditing techniques. In addition, the college will use IBM's on demand, web-based training as another way to educate non-security professionals on application security fundamentals and industry best practices.

After evaluating other solutions MU also selected the software to help lock down its own Website security. Rational AppScan identifies, validates and reports on application security vulnerabilities early in the development process before the applications go live.

"We believe that Web application security is one of the greatest information security risks organizations face today and have made application security a key component of our overall information security program," said Beth Chancellor, MU's associate CIO. "Web application auditing has taken a high priority at the university. It was logical for the IT office to work with Dr. Mauldin to bring hands-on experience to her classroom through the use of IBM Rational AppScan software."

Through its Academic Initiative, IBM offers 250 course modules to faculty at no cost, including 56 courses on Rational software.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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