The World Executive MBA with Cybersecurity

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“Every day, new news of cyber intrusions, exploits and attacks come to light. The nation’s most sensitive sectors, from defense to energy to finance, are often the targets.” -- Frank Cilluffo, director of GW’s Homeland Security Institute and co-director of the Cyber Center for National & Economic Security

Cyberspace is a brave new frontier. It is also a 21st century battlefield, where the threat spectrum includes corporate espionage, fraud, extortion, terrorism and warfare. Cybersecurity is one of the costliest budget allocations in the United States.

Our specialized World Executive MBA with Cybersecurity builds leaders ready to meet the challenges of this new frontier, preparing them to work across industries, sectors and borders.

The high-potential professionals enrolled in the program focus on the dimensions of cybersecurity most relevant to them, from liability and legal regimes to information assurance technology and practices. And they do so at a university with access to cyber-security and cyber-policy experts at the top echelons of the field.

The program carries rigorous requirements, including leadership training grounded in ethics and corporate social responsibility. International residencies cover real on-the-ground projects with operations like NATO in Brussels, the Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn or the European Cybercrime Centre at The Hague. Students work with personal leadership coaches.

Join our program and learn how to develop leadership strengths, inspire your team and build a bridge between today’s projects and tomorrow’s opportunities in one of the world’s fastest-changing arenas: cybersecurity.

The Program

This customized MBA program builds leaders able to handle the challenges of a high-technology world. In 16 months you’ll gain in-depth knowledge in cybersecurity, in addition to accounting, finance, marketing, business ethics, and decision-making skills. You’ll delve into U.S. and global cybersecurity strategy, policy and law, and you’ll become acquainted with the full range of cyber threats and their actors. Your electives will focus on elements of cybersecurity of special interest to you, giving you an edge on your competition.

You will study alongside professionals from national security, military, corporate and financial sector organizations. And you’ll have direct access to the inner workings of the organizations that shape the cyber policies that affect business and government.

The program been carefully structured to accommodate the work schedules of achievers. Classes take place on the weekends, including Friday afternoons. Some unfold on the George Washington University’s Foggy Bottom Campus and some take place at GW’s special state-of-the-art room within the Four Seasons Hotel in D.C. Students also stay at the Four Seasons during two their D.C. residencies. (Accommodations at the Four Seasons are included in the program price.)

Why GW?

The World Executive MBA with Cybersecurity is a joint initiative of the School of Business and GW’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. The World Executive MBA participants become part of a thriving pulse point for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

  • Our faculty and students come from around the world, bringing an unparalleled diversity of experience and expertise. Instructors in the program include expert scholars with deep knowledge of the technology security arena and the surrounding policy and business climates.
  • The program is anchored in Washington, D.C., a global epicenter of cyberspace security discussion. The university has connections with some of the most high-profile stakeholders affected by this critical issue.
  • The School of Business has longstanding experience in executive education and a proven track record in fostering dynamic cross-discipline and cross-industry discussions.
  • HSPI brings together government and business officials to foster dialogue and thought leadership on cybersecurity issues.

The World Executive MBA Cybersecurity Program

The new World Executive MBA in Cybersecurity, a joint venture of GWSB and the Cyber Center for National and Economic Security (housed in GW’s Homeland Security Policy Institute), provides executives with the knowledge, tools, and experience to protect their organizations from potentially devastating computer-borne interference and disruption. Candidates learn from top academic experts and have the opportunity to work alongside cybersecurity practitioners as they research and adapt to the ever-changing and evolving nature of threats in this new and in-demand field.

“This is a degree for executives who are leading cybersecurity initiatives in their organizations: senior vice presidents for security, senior vice presidents for information systems – the people in charge of protecting their organizations from cyber attacks,” said James Bailey, Hochberg Professorial Fellow of Leadership.

“The WEMBA with Cybersecurity is serving a demand and a niche that is not being filled by others,” said Frank Cilluffo, director of GW’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. “We are bridging the gap for executives, teaching them what they need to know so they can make informed, valuable decisions – without having to become programmers.We are also helping tech experts take advantage of new executive opportunities.”

One of the most cutting-edge aspects of the new program is the overseas residency at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. Cilluffo explained that Estonia is literally and figuratively on the front lines of cybersecurity. The tiny former Soviet-occupied nation on the Baltic has “gone all-in” on cyber technology – everything is online, from national IDs to health records to banking. Estonia was also the victim of the first documented state- sponsored cyber attack when Russia targeted it for a distributed denial of service attack in 2007. Especially vulnerable to cyber threats, Estonia is particularly attuned to the need for state-of- the-art cybersecurity. “Estonian first graders are taught computer coding,” said Cilluffo.

According to Cilluffo, who recently testified on cyber threats from China, Russia, and Iran before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, “This can’t be looked at as a traditional national security issue – what’s at stake is our national security and our economic security.” Cilluffo added that the business side of the cybersecurity equation was equally as important as the national security aspect. “We’re working to promote better sharing between the public and private sectors on cybersecurity. Cyber technology is the engine that drives the world. We have to find the right balance between making the walls too high – hindering the vital sharing of information – and making them too low, which would leave us vulnerable to threats.”