"We pick their brains and say, 'How does this match with what your needs are?'" he says.
The program combines traditional business courses—such as accounting, finance, and marketing—with specialty courses such as information security and ethics and computer forensics to show students how protecting data fits into a business model.
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"We're starting to look into things like … how secure is secure enough? What are your risks? And then relating that to ... the financial implications of a loss," Busing says.
In the cybersecurity industry, a loss can be anything from someone stealing government secrets to hackers snatching credit card information.
"Zappos—recently their credit card information was compromised. Basically, how do you handle that and what does it do to your brand image?" Busing says. "There are a lot more things that you have to try to put a dollar amount on. Some of it is very hard to quantify."
Delving into the monetary value of information was eye opening, says Bromley, the former JMU M.B.A. student.
"What is information worth, what is good to divulge from a business aspect … Banks do risk calculations and expect a modest amount of fraud and have insurance to cover those loses. It's a business decision," he says.
"You wouldn't be able to make those decisions if you didn't know what the information was worth. In the line of work I do—we're talking life or death with national security—it elevates what the information is worth."
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