KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University plans to launch an online program designed to improve the ability of I.T. professionals to protect against and mitigate hacks and data breaches. The eight-week, online certification program from WMU’s Haworth College of Business and College of Engineering and Applied Sciences starts in March and consists of four courses in high-demand cybersecurity specialties.

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Access to, and use of, the internet has become an integral component of everyday life in the 21st century.

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DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks grew more than 160% in the last year with millions of new malware and ransomware variants each day. The growing volume and sophistication of this cybercrime is driving an estimated security workforce shortage of 1.5 million worldwide in the next two years.

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The technological, infrastructure, policy and security landscapes are changing more quickly than firms can keep pace. As the Information Technology field continues to mature, the roles of Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are giving way to the rise of Chief Risk Officers (CROs). Though organizations appoint these positions to oversee and mitigate business threats, ultimate responsibility for organizational risk is the responsibility of executive leaders.

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