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Dartmouth Launches 2-Week Crash Course in Security

Dartmouth's cyber security research and education arm, the Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS), recently launched a two-week introduction to computer security in a program called SISMAT, or Secure Information Systems Mentoring and Training.

SISMAT has three components: First, the two-week program will provide training to participants on public key infrastructure (PKI), vulnerability assessment and network analysis tools. Second, the program provides opportunities for faculty at the students' home colleges to continue to mentor the student and actively develop security-related curriculum to broaden the impact and reach of SISMAT. And third, SISMAT directly assists students in finding summer internships in security-related areas at businesses that include General Dynamics, Ernst and Young, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

"There is an urgent need to bring students up to speed in these topics," said Tom Candon, associate director of ISTS. "The network security field needs professionals with hands-on training in secure systems, but only a few colleges or universities have these programs. SISMAT meets this need."

Michael Locasto, a research associate and post-doctoral fellow, developed the SISMAT curriculum. With ISTS colleague Sergey Bratus, he hopes to package the lessons so SISMAT can be duplicated at other institutions with computer security expertise.

"At the end of two weeks, I hope our students have had significant exposure to two crucial security topics: PKI and vulnerability assessment, two areas that are in very high demand in industry, academia, and government," said Locasto. "Within the timeframe of the SISMAT workshop, our goal is to expose the students to a variety of knowledge and resources so that they have enough background to gain traction in security topics related to the course."

SISMAT is supported through funding from the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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