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M.S. in Cybersecurity

Making the World Smarter, Safer and Healthier

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Eligible for

STEM-OPT
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Learn from

Experts
in the Field
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U.S. News & World Report

Top 100
University in the U.S.
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Forbes

Top 50
in Research in U.S. Universities
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With the Katz School’s master’s in cybersecurity, you’ll develop the technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures. You’ll master state-of-the-art technologies and practices, and you’ll get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense in the heart of New York City—a global headquarters for cybersecurity.  

Protecting an organization's information assets and technology infrastructure is critical and requires teams of cybersecurity professionals to protect against increasingly frequent attacks. Fueling this growth is the rapid evolution of cyber threats through the expansion of mobile device usage, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and drones. Additionally, evolving privacy and cybersecurity standards and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are driving demand for a new breed of cybersecurity professionals. Secure your place in this critical and fast-growing industry with Katz’s M.S. in cybersecurity.  

Program Highlights

Gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development

Analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal compliance and audit frameworks

Develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture

Prepare for industry certifications, including CEH, CISM, CISSP, CRISC and CSSK

Gain industry experience through internships and research, as well as benefit from career support and professional networking opportunities

STEM-OPT eligible

Full Program Breakdown

With the Katz School’s master’s in cybersecurity, you’ll develop the technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures. You’ll master state-of-the-art technologies and practices, and you’ll get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense in the heart of New York City—a global headquarters for cybersecurity.  

Protecting an organization's information assets and technology infrastructure is critical and requires teams of cybersecurity professionals to protect against increasingly frequent attacks. Fueling this growth is the rapid evolution of cyber threats through the expansion of mobile device usage, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and drones. Additionally, evolving privacy and cybersecurity standards and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are driving demand for a new breed of cybersecurity professionals. Secure your place in this critical and fast-growing industry with Katz’s M.S. in cybersecurity.  

Program Highlights

Gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development

Analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal compliance and audit frameworks

Develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture

Prepare for industry certifications, including CEH, CISM, CISSP, CRISC and CSSK

Gain industry experience through internships and research, as well as benefit from career support and professional networking opportunities

STEM-OPT eligible

Swipe to learn more!

With the Katz School’s master’s in cybersecurity, you’ll develop the technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures. You’ll master state-of-the-art technologies and practices, and you’ll get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense in the heart of New York City—a global headquarters for cybersecurity.  

Protecting an organization's information assets and technology infrastructure is critical and requires teams of cybersecurity professionals to protect against increasingly frequent attacks. Fueling this growth is the rapid evolution of cyber threats through the expansion of mobile device usage, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and drones. Additionally, evolving privacy and cybersecurity standards and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are driving demand for a new breed of cybersecurity professionals. Secure your place in this critical and fast-growing industry with Katz’s M.S. in cybersecurity.  

Gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development

Analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal compliance and audit frameworks

Develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture

Prepare for industry certifications, including CEH, CISM, CISSP, CRISC and CSSK

Gain industry experience through internships and research, as well as benefit from career support and professional networking opportunities

STEM-OPT eligible

B.A./M.S. Option

Through the B.A./M.S. option, undergraduates from Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women can take up to nine graduate credits that will count toward both their bachelor's and master's degrees. After completing their bachelor's, students can finish their graduate degree in just one more year.

  • Admissions criteria: Junior or senior in any YC/SCW undergraduate major with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and a minimum grade of B-plus in the prerequisite courses listed below. Students can begin taking graduate coursework in their junior or senior year.
  • Prerequisites for graduate courses: One computer networking or security course with a minimum grade of B-plus.

For more information, visit www.yu.edu/pathways

Internships and STEM-OPT

Gain industry experience in major companies, startups and the YU Innovation Lab through internships that count toward your degree. Yeshiva University's master’s in cybersecurity is a STEM-approved degree. International students may be eligible for up to 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). The program also offers several opportunities for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 

Recent Internships 

  • Radware 
  • New York City MTA 
  • Bank of New York Mellon 
  • Technical Consulting and Research, Inc. 
  • American Eagle Outfitters 

Interested in this program? Apply Now! 

At a Glance

30-credit Master of Science

Full-time or part-time

Online or on-campus in New York City

Evening courses so that you can work full-time while completing your degree

Leading research and industry expert faculty

Small classes where you’ll get to know everyone by name

Join us virtually at one of our upcoming information sessions.

Admissions Criteria 

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least one computer networking or computer security course taken within the last three years, with a grade of B or better. 

TOEFL or IELTS scores demonstrating strong communication skills are required for candidates whose bachelor's degrees were earned at a non-English-speaking institution. 

Making a career change?

We’ve developed an accelerated Networking Fundamentals course for applicants who don't have prior coursework or experience or who want to brush up before the program starts. For more information, contact an admissions director.

The Katz School also recognizes NYU's Bridge to Tandon Program as satisfying the computer networking requirements for the M.S. in Cybersecurity.  

We also offer a fully online, 11-week intensive English program for applicants with low- to upper-intermediate English reading, speaking and writing skills. 

Contact an admissions director for more information.

Application Requirements 

Applicants must submit the following:  

  • Online application  
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended 
  • Résumé 
  • Personal statement detailing your career goals and interest in the program 
  • Two academic or professional letters of recommendation
  • Required: TOEFL or IELTS scores (for candidates whose bachelor's degrees were earned at a non-English-speaking institution) 
  • $55 application fee 

Applicants also complete a one-on-one interview with the faculty. The interview is a chance to get to know the faculty and ask detailed questions about the field and program. 

Application Deadlines 

For up-to-date application deadlines, visit Graduate Admissions.

Tuition, Financial Aid, & Scholarships 

The Office of Student Finance maintains current tuition and fees for all graduate programs.  

All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships, including our Bright Futures Scholarship. You do not need to submit any additional information. Scholarship awards are determined during the application review process. 

Questions? 

Schedule an appointment with an admissions director if you have questions about your qualifications, financial aid opportunities and financing your graduate degree. We can do a preliminary transcript review and discuss your admissions and financing options with the Katz School. 

Admissions & Financial Aid

Join us virtually at one of our upcoming information sessions.

Admissions Criteria 

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least one computer networking or computer security course taken within the last three years, with a grade of B or better. 

TOEFL or IELTS scores demonstrating strong communication skills are required for candidates whose bachelor's degrees were earned at a non-English-speaking institution. 

Making a career change?

We’ve developed an accelerated Networking Fundamentals course for applicants who don't have prior coursework or experience or who want to brush up before the program starts. For more information, contact an admissions director.

The Katz School also recognizes NYU's Bridge to Tandon Program as satisfying the computer networking requirements for the M.S. in Cybersecurity.  

We also offer a fully online, 11-week intensive English program for applicants with low- to upper-intermediate English reading, speaking and writing skills. 

Contact an admissions director for more information.

Application Requirements 

Applicants must submit the following:  

  • Online application  
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended 
  • Résumé 
  • Personal statement detailing your career goals and interest in the program 
  • Two academic or professional letters of recommendation
  • Required: TOEFL or IELTS scores (for candidates whose bachelor's degrees were earned at a non-English-speaking institution) 
  • $55 application fee 

Applicants also complete a one-on-one interview with the faculty. The interview is a chance to get to know the faculty and ask detailed questions about the field and program. 

Application Deadlines 

For up-to-date application deadlines, visit Graduate Admissions.

Tuition, Financial Aid, & Scholarships 

The Office of Student Finance maintains current tuition and fees for all graduate programs.  

All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships, including our Bright Futures Scholarship. You do not need to submit any additional information. Scholarship awards are determined during the application review process. 

Questions? 

Schedule an appointment with an admissions director if you have questions about your qualifications, financial aid opportunities and financing your graduate degree. We can do a preliminary transcript review and discuss your admissions and financing options with the Katz School. 

Program News

""

New York City a Global Cyber Headquarters

Read more about how the city is backing cyber development

New York City a Global Cyber Headquarters

New York City is investing millions to develop its cybersecurity ecosystem by attracting startups, building infrastructure and creating a centralized cyber command.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation is backing a CyberCenter to host the city’s first cybersecurity-dedicated accelerator. Startup companies from around the world are locating in New York. Jerusalem Venture Partners, an Israeli cybersecurity venture fund, is opening its New York office to attract more Israeli companies to the city.  

In addition, Israel-based D-ID and Intezer will join Team 8, a landmark cybersecurity think tank, which recently opened a hub in New York. Additionally, according to a 2018 Indeed.com Cybersecurity Spotlight Report, New York City ranks second on the list of U.S. cities with the most cybersecurity job postings and is in the top three for having the highest salary for information security specialists. 

Sivan Tehila

Cyber Expert Named Program Director

Read more about cyber entrepreneur Sivan Tehila

Cyber Expert Named Program Director

Sivan Tehila, a cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur, has been named director of the in-person and online cybersecurity master’s programs for the Katz School of Science and Health. Dave Schwed and Lev Feldman, who served as co-directors of the program since the school’s founding in 2016, have returned to executive positions in industry but remain on the faculty as practitioners-in-residence.

During a 10-year career in intelligence and cybersecurity in the Israel Defense Forces, Sivan served as an intelligence officer, CISO of the Research and Analysis Division and head of the Information Security Department of the Intelligence Corps. After leaving the military, she joined RAFAEL, an Israeli defense company, as an information security officer and a profiler. She then shifted her career to securing critical national infrastructure at the Israel Railways. Since 2019, she has been director of solutions architecture at Perimeter 81, a cloud and network security company.

Sivan has dedicated herself to promoting women in cybersecurity. She is the founder of Cyber Ladies NYC, a fierce troupe of women innovators who are all driven and accomplished in tech and cybersecurity, and a mentor at the Manhattan High School for Girls where she developed a unique cybersecurity program. She was recognized as a 2020 Woman to Watch in IT Security. In June, she led a team of cybersecurity students who won first place in ISACA’s annual Cybersecurity Challenge.

Sivan teaches the course Cybersecurity Audit, Assessment, and Testing. She holds an M.A. in business development and consulting from the University of Haifa and a B.A. in political science and criminology from Bar-Ilan University, as well as a CISO certificate from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

The Katz School’s in-person and online cybersecurity master’s programs help students develop the technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures, as well as to master state-of-the-art technologies and practices. Students get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense — all in the heart of New York City. 

David Schwed

Cybersecurity Program Hacks the Hacker's Mind

Read more about the psychology of cyber criminals

Cybersecurity Program Hacks the Hacker's Mind

While mastering technology is a prerequisite for being a cybersecurity professional, understanding the psychology of a cyber-criminal is indispensable for protecting against the theft of an organization’s assets. “In order to be good at what we do,” said David Schwed, a practitioner-in-residence at the Katz School, “we need to think like the bad guy.”

Ninety percent of hacking incidents, he said, involve people who fall prey to scams. That’s why IT professionals install tools on computers and other electronic devices to scan links that might contain malware.

“People are your weakest link when it comes to security,” he said. “We can’t stop people from doing it, so that’s what we’re trying to educate students about. If I’m trying to break into an organization, how am I going to do it? And then from there, we try to establish defenses for it.”

Hackers employ surprisingly low-tech methods at times to infiltrate an organization’s computer systems. Schwed said they’ll pose as couriers who are recognizable to an organization and then once inside they plant listening devices or keystroke loggers on the back of keyboards that vacuum up passwords. Or, hackers will drop USB sticks in an organization’s parking lot or other high-trafficked areas, and unsuspecting employees will retrieve them and insert them into their office computers, unleashing malicious code.

Schwed himself is a security professional who has spent a career searching for vulnerabilities, hoping to find weak links in computer systems before criminals can exploit them. He has 21 years of experience in information technology, information security and risk management, and he helped build the information technology infrastructure for Citigroup before joining the Katz School.

He said the Katz cybersecurity program offers an elective course on Cybercrime, Cyberwar and Threat Actors, which examines the profiles of hackers, members of organized crime, and nation-states that conduct espionage. “We discuss what they’re after—money, information or intelligence, and who the potential targets are and how they’re going to execute their schemes,” he said. “We talk about how there’s intrinsic value to some types of data that are a target in financial services, health care and retail, among others.”

The Katz School program develops students’ technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures, as well as mastery of state-of-the-art technologies and practices. Students gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development. They also analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks; develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture; and prepare for industry certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CSSK and CEH.

“Students get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense,” said Schwed. “And then when they graduate, they have access to jobs at the biggest companies in the heart of New York City, which is a global epicenter for cybersecurity.”

He said an important component of the program are guest speakers from the cybersecurity industry. He recently brought in a cybersecurity professional who rolled out a smart vacuum in class to demonstrate how simple it is to tamper with the machine’s brain. From a nearby computer, he uploaded software that swapped the unit’s Siri-like voice for his own, putting the vacuum under his command. Since those machines are already pre-programmed with a floor’s layout, they can yield important information.

Too many cybersecurity professionals, he said, just throw technology at a problem. “They ask, ‘Do we have a firewall? Do we have data loss prevention? Do we have network access control?,’ without stepping back and asking what they’re trying to protect against internally and organizationally.”

A good cybersecurity professional at Coca-Cola, for instance, would try to protect the formula for Coke, but would be more likely to defend Planned Parenthood from hackers who are hostile to its mission rather than the theft of its data.

“Someone using a telecommunications interface, like PRI technology, could flood the phone lines of Planned Parenthood by setting up a computer to make multiple calls at once,” said Schwed. “Their lines would be busy all day, preventing people from making appointments, and the perpetrators wouldn’t have hacked anything.

“Our program is about doing this kind of risk-based analysis to determine what the bad guy is after and how they’re going to get it.”

International Information System Security Certification Consortium

Student Earns Coveted CISSP Credential

Read more about Mark Schleisner’s journey

Student Earns Coveted CISSP Credential

Cybersecurity alumnus Mark Schleisner has obtained a coveted Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². 

“Mark’s advanced skills in cybersecurity will help him open a new chapter in his career, as well as gain the support of a large community of cybersecurity professionals,” said Lev Feldman, formerly a co-director of the Katz School’s cybersecurity program and now a practitioner-in-residence. “CISSP is well-recognized and globally trusted, and it enables students to perform various security job functions and pursue an advanced IT security career.” 

Mark was most recently an IT project manager for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and for years he’s been an IT and security consultant. After he graduates from the Katz School’s program in August, he’s interested in getting a job as a cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity threat investigator or cybersecurity program manager. 

“I joined the program with a nontraditional background, but as an IT project manager I had always been doing information access management—regulating who could get into the network and who could access the database and what they could do with it,” said Mark. “And when I led teams building business websites, I was automatically conducting vulnerability assessments and implementing security features.” 

As he started doing more security work as a project manager, he decided to “take the leap” full-time into cybersecurity. But it first took a coincidental introduction to David Schwed, the other former co-director of the Katz School’s cybersecurity program, at a cybersecurity Meetup event. David strongly encouraged Mark to apply. 

“David was the reason I got into the school and the reason I stayed through some very tough moments,” said Mark, “and Lev wisely encouraged me to take the CISSP exam right after my fall semester.” 

The Katz School’s cybersecurity program provides know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development. Students learn to analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks, and to develop internal and external communication strategies for promoting a cybersecurity culture. 

“The cybersecurity program has been challenging,” said Mark, “but it’s been a great education. At first, I had doubts about the workload, but everyone in the program, faculty and students alike, supported and encouraged me and got me through.” 

For his capstone project, he’s been given a case study of a fictional bank with 10,000 employees and an IT department, and his task is to build a new cybersecurity department in two months. 

“I feel well-qualified to enter this industry now,” he said, “and a lot more confident about the talents I have to offer an employer.”

Jonathan Deutsch

Joined a Techie, Left a Leader

Read more about Jonathan Deutsch’s journey

Joined a Techie, Left a Leader

Jonathan Deutsch was drawn to the Katz School not just to master cybertechnology but for the soft skills — to learn how to lead people and teams, to teach others how to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats, and to empower others to take their electronic destiny into their own hands.

“The hard skills you can always learn, but the soft skills and how you communicate them are most important,” he said, “and that’s where the Katz School program was exceptional.”

Jonathan said one of the most valuable things about the master’s program is that the professors are practitioners and therefore keenly aware of what the current cybersecurity environment is like. “They bring boots-on-the-ground experience to current events and issues in the profession,” he said.

He was particularly inspired by Alexsandr Zhuk’s leadership course that draws a distinction between managers and leaders. “People are more likely to follow and do the right thing when they want to do it rather than when they have to do it,” he said.

In January, he became Compliance Lead for Axoni, a New York-based technology firm that specializes in blockchain infrastructure, because of the relationships he had forged with Katz cybersecurity faculty.
“The level of care that Professor Zhuk and other professors showed was phenomenal,” he said. “They are genuinely interested in students and are there for you. They are very passionate about their area of expertise and want their students to succeed.”

After graduation, Jonathan was accepted into another master’s program at Columbia University. He also obtained the coveted CISSP certification, which is granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². CISSP is well-recognized and globally trusted, and it enables students to perform various security job functions and pursue an advanced IT security career.

In the Katz School master’s program, students gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security, and software development. They analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks. They develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture. And they prepare for industry certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CRISC and CEH.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reports that the industry will experience job growth of 31% between now and 2029, which is a much faster rate than most other industries. The median salary of an information security analyst, for example, was $103,590 in 2020.

In his free time, Jonathan is a volunteer mentor for emerging cybersecurity students with Cyber Ladies NYC, founded by Katz School cybersecurity instructor Sivan Tehila Alus, and works with nonprofit and educational organizations to help design secure technology solutions to help further their mission.

He said he’s passionate about how cybersecurity relates to the role human nature plays when defending digital assets. “We’re dealing not only with the technical reality of a security breach, for example, but also the social and psychological reality,” he said. “The Katz program not only explored that reality but gave us the vocabulary to make it accessible to anyone in the company.”

""

New York City a Global Cyber Headquarters

Read more about how the city is backing cyber development

New York City a Global Cyber Headquarters

New York City is investing millions to develop its cybersecurity ecosystem by attracting startups, building infrastructure and creating a centralized cyber command.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation is backing a CyberCenter to host the city’s first cybersecurity-dedicated accelerator. Startup companies from around the world are locating in New York. Jerusalem Venture Partners, an Israeli cybersecurity venture fund, is opening its New York office to attract more Israeli companies to the city.  

In addition, Israel-based D-ID and Intezer will join Team 8, a landmark cybersecurity think tank, which recently opened a hub in New York. Additionally, according to a 2018 Indeed.com Cybersecurity Spotlight Report, New York City ranks second on the list of U.S. cities with the most cybersecurity job postings and is in the top three for having the highest salary for information security specialists. 

Sivan Tehila

Cyber Expert Named Program Director

Read more about cyber entrepreneur Sivan Tehila

Cyber Expert Named Program Director

Sivan Tehila, a cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur, has been named director of the in-person and online cybersecurity master’s programs for the Katz School of Science and Health. Dave Schwed and Lev Feldman, who served as co-directors of the program since the school’s founding in 2016, have returned to executive positions in industry but remain on the faculty as practitioners-in-residence.

During a 10-year career in intelligence and cybersecurity in the Israel Defense Forces, Sivan served as an intelligence officer, CISO of the Research and Analysis Division and head of the Information Security Department of the Intelligence Corps. After leaving the military, she joined RAFAEL, an Israeli defense company, as an information security officer and a profiler. She then shifted her career to securing critical national infrastructure at the Israel Railways. Since 2019, she has been director of solutions architecture at Perimeter 81, a cloud and network security company.

Sivan has dedicated herself to promoting women in cybersecurity. She is the founder of Cyber Ladies NYC, a fierce troupe of women innovators who are all driven and accomplished in tech and cybersecurity, and a mentor at the Manhattan High School for Girls where she developed a unique cybersecurity program. She was recognized as a 2020 Woman to Watch in IT Security. In June, she led a team of cybersecurity students who won first place in ISACA’s annual Cybersecurity Challenge.

Sivan teaches the course Cybersecurity Audit, Assessment, and Testing. She holds an M.A. in business development and consulting from the University of Haifa and a B.A. in political science and criminology from Bar-Ilan University, as well as a CISO certificate from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

The Katz School’s in-person and online cybersecurity master’s programs help students develop the technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures, as well as to master state-of-the-art technologies and practices. Students get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense — all in the heart of New York City. 

David Schwed

Cybersecurity Program Hacks the Hacker's Mind

Read more about the psychology of cyber criminals

Cybersecurity Program Hacks the Hacker's Mind

While mastering technology is a prerequisite for being a cybersecurity professional, understanding the psychology of a cyber-criminal is indispensable for protecting against the theft of an organization’s assets. “In order to be good at what we do,” said David Schwed, a practitioner-in-residence at the Katz School, “we need to think like the bad guy.”

Ninety percent of hacking incidents, he said, involve people who fall prey to scams. That’s why IT professionals install tools on computers and other electronic devices to scan links that might contain malware.

“People are your weakest link when it comes to security,” he said. “We can’t stop people from doing it, so that’s what we’re trying to educate students about. If I’m trying to break into an organization, how am I going to do it? And then from there, we try to establish defenses for it.”

Hackers employ surprisingly low-tech methods at times to infiltrate an organization’s computer systems. Schwed said they’ll pose as couriers who are recognizable to an organization and then once inside they plant listening devices or keystroke loggers on the back of keyboards that vacuum up passwords. Or, hackers will drop USB sticks in an organization’s parking lot or other high-trafficked areas, and unsuspecting employees will retrieve them and insert them into their office computers, unleashing malicious code.

Schwed himself is a security professional who has spent a career searching for vulnerabilities, hoping to find weak links in computer systems before criminals can exploit them. He has 21 years of experience in information technology, information security and risk management, and he helped build the information technology infrastructure for Citigroup before joining the Katz School.

He said the Katz cybersecurity program offers an elective course on Cybercrime, Cyberwar and Threat Actors, which examines the profiles of hackers, members of organized crime, and nation-states that conduct espionage. “We discuss what they’re after—money, information or intelligence, and who the potential targets are and how they’re going to execute their schemes,” he said. “We talk about how there’s intrinsic value to some types of data that are a target in financial services, health care and retail, among others.”

The Katz School program develops students’ technological and managerial expertise to plan, implement, upgrade, monitor and audit cybersecurity protocols and procedures, as well as mastery of state-of-the-art technologies and practices. Students gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development. They also analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks; develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture; and prepare for industry certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CSSK and CEH.

“Students get hands-on experience with threat mitigation, detection and defense,” said Schwed. “And then when they graduate, they have access to jobs at the biggest companies in the heart of New York City, which is a global epicenter for cybersecurity.”

He said an important component of the program are guest speakers from the cybersecurity industry. He recently brought in a cybersecurity professional who rolled out a smart vacuum in class to demonstrate how simple it is to tamper with the machine’s brain. From a nearby computer, he uploaded software that swapped the unit’s Siri-like voice for his own, putting the vacuum under his command. Since those machines are already pre-programmed with a floor’s layout, they can yield important information.

Too many cybersecurity professionals, he said, just throw technology at a problem. “They ask, ‘Do we have a firewall? Do we have data loss prevention? Do we have network access control?,’ without stepping back and asking what they’re trying to protect against internally and organizationally.”

A good cybersecurity professional at Coca-Cola, for instance, would try to protect the formula for Coke, but would be more likely to defend Planned Parenthood from hackers who are hostile to its mission rather than the theft of its data.

“Someone using a telecommunications interface, like PRI technology, could flood the phone lines of Planned Parenthood by setting up a computer to make multiple calls at once,” said Schwed. “Their lines would be busy all day, preventing people from making appointments, and the perpetrators wouldn’t have hacked anything.

“Our program is about doing this kind of risk-based analysis to determine what the bad guy is after and how they’re going to get it.”

International Information System Security Certification Consortium

Student Earns Coveted CISSP Credential

Read more about Mark Schleisner’s journey

Student Earns Coveted CISSP Credential

Cybersecurity alumnus Mark Schleisner has obtained a coveted Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². 

“Mark’s advanced skills in cybersecurity will help him open a new chapter in his career, as well as gain the support of a large community of cybersecurity professionals,” said Lev Feldman, formerly a co-director of the Katz School’s cybersecurity program and now a practitioner-in-residence. “CISSP is well-recognized and globally trusted, and it enables students to perform various security job functions and pursue an advanced IT security career.” 

Mark was most recently an IT project manager for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and for years he’s been an IT and security consultant. After he graduates from the Katz School’s program in August, he’s interested in getting a job as a cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity threat investigator or cybersecurity program manager. 

“I joined the program with a nontraditional background, but as an IT project manager I had always been doing information access management—regulating who could get into the network and who could access the database and what they could do with it,” said Mark. “And when I led teams building business websites, I was automatically conducting vulnerability assessments and implementing security features.” 

As he started doing more security work as a project manager, he decided to “take the leap” full-time into cybersecurity. But it first took a coincidental introduction to David Schwed, the other former co-director of the Katz School’s cybersecurity program, at a cybersecurity Meetup event. David strongly encouraged Mark to apply. 

“David was the reason I got into the school and the reason I stayed through some very tough moments,” said Mark, “and Lev wisely encouraged me to take the CISSP exam right after my fall semester.” 

The Katz School’s cybersecurity program provides know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security and software development. Students learn to analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks, and to develop internal and external communication strategies for promoting a cybersecurity culture. 

“The cybersecurity program has been challenging,” said Mark, “but it’s been a great education. At first, I had doubts about the workload, but everyone in the program, faculty and students alike, supported and encouraged me and got me through.” 

For his capstone project, he’s been given a case study of a fictional bank with 10,000 employees and an IT department, and his task is to build a new cybersecurity department in two months. 

“I feel well-qualified to enter this industry now,” he said, “and a lot more confident about the talents I have to offer an employer.”

Jonathan Deutsch

Joined a Techie, Left a Leader

Read more about Jonathan Deutsch’s journey

Joined a Techie, Left a Leader

Jonathan Deutsch was drawn to the Katz School not just to master cybertechnology but for the soft skills — to learn how to lead people and teams, to teach others how to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats, and to empower others to take their electronic destiny into their own hands.

“The hard skills you can always learn, but the soft skills and how you communicate them are most important,” he said, “and that’s where the Katz School program was exceptional.”

Jonathan said one of the most valuable things about the master’s program is that the professors are practitioners and therefore keenly aware of what the current cybersecurity environment is like. “They bring boots-on-the-ground experience to current events and issues in the profession,” he said.

He was particularly inspired by Alexsandr Zhuk’s leadership course that draws a distinction between managers and leaders. “People are more likely to follow and do the right thing when they want to do it rather than when they have to do it,” he said.

In January, he became Compliance Lead for Axoni, a New York-based technology firm that specializes in blockchain infrastructure, because of the relationships he had forged with Katz cybersecurity faculty.
“The level of care that Professor Zhuk and other professors showed was phenomenal,” he said. “They are genuinely interested in students and are there for you. They are very passionate about their area of expertise and want their students to succeed.”

After graduation, Jonathan was accepted into another master’s program at Columbia University. He also obtained the coveted CISSP certification, which is granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². CISSP is well-recognized and globally trusted, and it enables students to perform various security job functions and pursue an advanced IT security career.

In the Katz School master’s program, students gain cybersecurity know-how in systems architecture, operating systems, applications, endpoints, securing data, networking, cloud security, and software development. They analyze threat landscapes and security frameworks, as well as legal, compliance and audit frameworks. They develop internal and external communication strategies to promote a cybersecurity culture. And they prepare for industry certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CRISC and CEH.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reports that the industry will experience job growth of 31% between now and 2029, which is a much faster rate than most other industries. The median salary of an information security analyst, for example, was $103,590 in 2020.

In his free time, Jonathan is a volunteer mentor for emerging cybersecurity students with Cyber Ladies NYC, founded by Katz School cybersecurity instructor Sivan Tehila Alus, and works with nonprofit and educational organizations to help design secure technology solutions to help further their mission.

He said he’s passionate about how cybersecurity relates to the role human nature plays when defending digital assets. “We’re dealing not only with the technical reality of a security breach, for example, but also the social and psychological reality,” he said. “The Katz program not only explored that reality but gave us the vocabulary to make it accessible to anyone in the company.”

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