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"Policy@EDU": Larry Clinton on Higher Education's Role in Cybersecurity

The September/October edition of EDUCAUSE Review focuses on an issue that is of great concern to the higher education community: cybersecurity. Internet Security Alliance CEO and President Larry Clinton discusses the Obama Administration's Cyberspace Policy Review in the latest "Policy@EDU" column. The Administration's document, which was released in May 2009, identifies security challenges and urges government, industry, and higher education to work together in addressing the issues. Clinton writes that "no less than five of the twenty-four specific items laid out in the near- and mid-term action plans ... relate specifically to the education community."

According to Clinton, higher education institutions have a role to play in increasing general public awareness and expanding the information technology workforce. The latter task will involve preparing students to take more math and science, as well as encouraging greater numbers to take on masters and doctoral degrees in cybersecurity-related fields. He also says promoting cybersecurity "as an enterprise leadership responsibility" will be important, since all levels of leadership (not just the IT folks) should be involved in making "business and investment decisions based on the knowledge of risks and potential impacts." Finally, Clinton says the emphasis on civil liberties, while not directly related to education, is important to the "heart and soul of academic institutions." Carefully balancing privacy and security needs with those of efficiency and innovation will probably be one of the more difficult issues confronting policy makers, he writes.

For more information on cybersecurity, please visit the EDUCAUSE Resource Center page.

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