Posted by raherschbach on 14 Dec 2017

Want to serve your country and protect against dangerous adversaries? Increasingly, acquiring cybersecurity expertise is of pivotal importance.

A soldier holds his smiling childThe US Army drove that point home on Wednesday (December 13) when it announced plans to deploy teams of cyber warriors in order to intercept enemy intelligence or thwart planned attacks.

Today’s warfighter has to think out of the box and ask questions such as “how can I influence by non-kinetic means? How can I reach up and create confusion and gain control?” Colonel William Hartman of the U.S Cyber Command in comments to reporters Wednesday.

The U.S. military has used cyberwarfare to hinder ISIS networks, including by altering messages sent by ISIS commanders with the result that militants are sent into the path of drone or plane strikes, according to New York Times article quoted by the AFP. Denial of service attacks are also used against adversaries, AFP said.

The Coast Guard, meanwhile, has placed cybersecurity capability on the same level of importance as procuring new vessels or aircraft. “We’re going to operate in cyberspace just like we have in the maritime domain for over 227 years,” American Security Today quoted the Guard’s cyber commander, Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, as saying.

At Capitol Technology University, home of the nation’s first doctoral program in cybersecurity, students are carrying out innovative research into the military implications of computer networks and the possible use of cyber tools on the battlefield.

In 2013, Capitol doctoral student Dr. Warren D. Lerner conducted a study on using artificial neural networks to determine the location of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). More recently, a 2016 dissertation by Kui Zeng focused on cybersecurity requirements in the defense acquisition process.

“The strategic and military implications of cybersecurity are a central concern at Capitol,” Dr. Helen G. Barker, chief academic officer, said. “Many of our faculty, including program chair Dr. William Butler, come to us with a military background, and we get quite a few doctoral students who come here specifically to address research problems related to defense or national security challenges.”

In addition to doctoral research, Capitol is helping to meet the need for cybersecurity expertise through programs at the undergraduate and master’s level. The university actively seeks to make these programs available and affordable to military personnel through a tuition discount program.

Under the program, tuition is $250 per credit for all active duty service members pursuing undergraduate degree programs, and $350 for all active duty service members pursuing master’s degree programs.

“Meeting the career and educational needs of our country’s servicemen and servicewomen has long been part of our mandate as an institution,” said Capitol’s senior vice president for enrollment and marketing, Dianne O’Neill. “Military personnel who have received cybersecurity training as part of their service may well find that Capitol is an ideal opportunity to build on that training as they transition into civilian life.”

For more information on cybersecurity programs at Capitol, contact program chair Dr. William Butler at





Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Dec 2017

As in any technical discipline, cybersecurity students learn to master the tools and resources needed for the work they do.

A cybersecurity student practices his skills.They also become familiar with the terminology used by cybersecurity professionals in the field. Are you interested in studying to become a “white hat hacker” and use your skills to conduct authorized exploits against networks and systems? As a cybersecurity student at Capitol Technology University, a DHS and NSA-designated Center for Academic Excellence, you’ll find out how. And you’ll also become conversant with the terms below.

Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. The “CIA Triad,” not to be confused with the Central Intelligence Agency, constitutes the benchmarks that all cybersecurity initiatives measure themselves by. Confidentiality means that only authorized users have access to information. Integrity means that information is accurate and complete. Availability means that authorizers have, in fact, the ability to access the information.

McCumber Cube. Organizations are complex, as are their information needs and security goals. A cybersecurity framework developed by John McCumber in 1991 uses a Rubik’s Cube as a way of conceptualizing this complexity and identifying the many factors involved. The cube brings together desired goals (confidentiality, integrity, and availability), information states (storage, transmission, and processing), and safeguards (policies and practices, human factors, and technology).

Defense in Depth. Also dubbed the “Castle Approach,” defense-in-depth refers to the strategy of creating security controls at multiple levels throughout an IT system. In doing so, should any one security control fail, others will continue to provide protection.

Penetration testing. To identify possible weaknesses, organizations sometimes authorize cybersecurity professionals to launch attacks on computer systems with the goal of uncovering security holes. This kind of authorized intrusion is sometimes colloquially known as “white hat hacking.”

Zero Day Attack. Sometimes cyber adversaries will find out about a software flaw before the maker or vendor of that software becomes aware of the problem. They will then hurry to take advantage of the vulnerability before it is discovered and fixed. Such scenarios – which can include planting malware or accessing sensitive data -- are known as a “zero day attack.”

Capitol offers cyberecurity degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Want to learn more about the cybersecurity field and available educational opportunities? Contact the Admissions Office today,


Posted by raherschbach on 13 Dec 2017

In a competitive world, success depends on finding and maintaining an edge – and that requires making data-driven decisions.

The reward for sound decision-making is improved market share. The punishment for unwise decisions, in today’s economy, can be ruthless. That’s why organizations in an ever-expanding array of industries – from sports to health care to cybersecurity – are seeking out professionals with the expertise needed to utilize data effectively.

With a degree in business analytics from Capitol, you could be one of those highly sought-after professionals. Capitol offers business analytics with a difference – the data difference.

“As a student in business analytics here at Capitol, you would learn how analytics helps shape strategic plans at organizations or universities, whatever business you are involved in.” says Dr. Michael Fain, the university’s director of doctoral programs. “Numbers and data should drive the decisions that administrators make for their mission, vision, and value of their respective organizations. As a student here we teach you how to take data, or numbers, and plug these numbers in to help leadership come up with a strategic plan.”

Capitol Technology University offers multiple degrees in business analytics – a bachelor of science, a technical MBA, and a PhD in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences. The master’s and doctoral programs are offered online, bringing these opportunities within reach of working professionals and career changers.

The time to seize these opportunities is now. In a December 2016 report, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) cited a “continuing shortage of analytics talent,” with data scientists in particularly high demand. MGI found that average wages for data scientists rose by about 16% between 2012 and 2014, at a time when overall wages were increasingly by only 2%.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average, 12% growth for management analysts between 2016 and 2026. For data scientists, the demand is astonishingly robust, with job postings increasing by 361% between 2013 and 2016, according to EAB. Data analysts, meanwhile, saw an 83% growth in opportunities during the same period.

But where are the professionals with the skills to help companies do that? According to McKinsey, there’s an acute shortage. The US economy alone – not to mention the rest of the globe – needs approximately 140,000 to 190,000 professionals with deep analytical skills, and as many as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the knowhow needed to transform data into effective decision-making.

Capitol’s business analytics programs prepare you to take advantage of these trends because of their strong data focus. With such expertise under your belt, you’ll have a panoply of industries and careers to choose from. You could be the sports analyst who helps a struggling team regain glory, as happened with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. You could be the savvy political consultant who leads a client to a come-from-behind win. You could locate the competitive edge for a manufacturer or retailer. You could help companies protect vital assets by analyzing threats. You could ensure that health care practitioners are better able to meet the needs of patients.

The list is potentially endless. In today’s economy, every type of business needs data-savvy professionals.

“Whether you are working for the federal government, whether you’re working for a local government, whether you’re working for the private or public sector, a degree in business analytics will serve to enhance you professionally for many years to come,” Fain says.

Why study Business Analytics at Capitol? For starters, Capitol’s faculty are working professionals in the field – subject matter experts who apply their knowledge on a daily basis and are up to speed on emerging developments. “These are individuals who are actually doing the work that they are training students to invest in,” Fain said.

Capitol has a longstanding focus on practical, hands-on education and an unparalleled focus on students. “I think that our program is unique in that we are very student focused. Even in the virtual world, we have an open door policy and we are available for our students, Fain said.

Want to learn more? Contact the admissions department at or sign up for an undergraduate open house or a graduate information session. With a business analytics degree, the sky’s the limit. And Capitol will get you there.


Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Dec 2017

It’s the passport into a world of opportunities within government, defense, and other sectors: a security clearance. For students in some fields, such as cybersecurity, being able to obtain one is an absolute must.

Sarah Alspaw, Associate Director Career Services“It represents, for the federal government, a way of determining that you can be trusted,” notes Sarah Alspaw, associate director of career services at Capitol Technology University. Getting a clearance is a high priority for many students at Capitol given the school’s focus on engineering and technology fields and its close links to federal employers.

“We work with a lot of employers that require security clearances,” Alspaw said.

Whether aiming for a confidential, secret, top secret, or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance, students need to think ahead to the clearance process, understand the requirements, and be aware of potential red flags, she said.

1. Find a sponsor. Job-seekers going into the federal employment marketplace often face a Catch-22: you need a clearance to land certain jobs, but a clearance can’t be obtained unless a company or organization is willing to sponsor the process. “You can’t just run out and obtain a clearance on your own,” Alspaw notes.

Traditionally, employers would provide “contingent” job offers, in which a candidate is first hired and then goes through the clearance process under company sponsorship. Nowadays, though, many companies are looking for applicants who have already been cleared through some prior position, stated Alspaw.

Cybersecurity bachelor’s students can position themselves ahead of graduation by doing internships that lead to a clearance, she said. Capitol works with programs such as the National Security Scholars Program (NSSP), which includes a security clearance as part of its scholarship package, and also connects students with internships that can get them on track.

2. Ditch the illegal downloads. Does the federal government really care that you watch pirated movies or grab your favorite music from file-sharing networks? The answer is yes, Alspaw says – those FBI warnings at the start of a DVD are for real, and involvement in piracy will count as a serious strike against you when applying for the clearance. “That includes not only illegally downloading music and movies, but also textbooks,” comments Alspaw. “Textbooks are a big deal among university students, obviously, but if you’re getting materials that you should have paid for, for free, you’re breaking the law.”

Clearance seekers are hooked up to polygraphs and asked a range of questions that cover topics including online behavior, and they must also disclose such information on the SF-86 application form.

3. Get Your Finances in Order. In vetting clearances, the Secret Service is particularly alert to issues that could expose an applicant to blackmail or induce acts of espionage. Financial woes are high on the red flag list. “Having student loans or credit cards isn’t a problem,” Alspaw says. “But having outstanding credit card or loan debt is.” To help students avoid such pitfalls, Capitol provides training in financial literacy as part of the Freshman Seminar that all undergraduates must take.

4. Steer Clear of Drugs. Investigators will conduct a thorough check to ensure you are not using illicit substances. “Don’t take anything that hasn’t been prescribed to you,” Alspaw says. “If you’re found to have used drugs of any kind illegally within 365 days prior to your application, that’s an automatic disqualification.”   Investigators will also contact family members, friends, and roommates who may disclose instances of substance abuse.

5. Don’t Broadcast Your Status. The fact that you’ve applied for or received a clearance should be kept private. Publicizing such status, in addition to breaching the rules, can lead to being targeted for social engineering efforts by adversaries. “Keep in mind that in the security field, you may be discouraged not only from revealing your clearance, but also from talking about your job. Some of our former students aren’t even allowed to tell people where they work,” Alspaw says.

Top-secret and SCI levels of clearance are often required for the career paths of greatest interest to Capitol students. “Due to the subject matter we teach here, many of our students are looking at careers with the NSA or with companies serving the nation’s intelligence and defense needs” said Alspaw. These fields of study can lead to widely impactful careers. Being prepared to apply for a security clearance brings our students one step closer to making a difference.


Posted by raherschbach on 8 Dec 2017

Since coming to Capitol in 2000, Dr. Helen G. Barker has served the university in many capacities: first as an adjunct professor, then as a member of the full-time faculty, and subsequently as academic dean.

Dr. Helen G. Barker, Chief Academic OfficerShe has helped countless students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, mentored faculty, and spearheaded new programs.  Now, as Capitol enters an era of new presidential leadership and expansion, Dr. Barker brings her experience and vision to a pivotal role at the university: that of chief academic officer (CAO).

Dr. Barker became CAO in the fall of 2017 and will chart a course forward as Capitol launches multiple new programs, including a PhD in technology, a master’s program in cyber analytics, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs in business analytics.

We asked Dr. Barker about her priorities as CAO and the characteristics that distinguish Capitol from other colleges and universities.

What are your primary goals as CAO? What do you most want to accomplish?

I aim to foster a culture of growth at the university – a culture that thinks not only about where we are now, but where we can be, and what we can conceivably do. How can we make what we do even better and more exciting?

It’s not a top-down agenda; it’s an everybody agenda. We’re looking for creativity and innovation to spread throughout the institution. We’re a team in this journey that will shape what Capitol becomes in the future.

What perspectives do you bring with you as someone who has been a faculty member?

I bring the perspective of someone who understands faculty concerns, and also the perspective of someone who has worked closely with students for many years. I have an up-close understanding of the teaching and learning environment that our faculty delivers to students.

As CAO, my role involves finding the right balance between different sets of concerns. There are many great ideas out there for programs, classes, or resources, but not all these ideas align with the Capitol mission. And not all of them are viable from a budgetary standpoint. As an administrator, it’s part of my job not only to make these calls, but to convey to other stakeholders in the university the reasons for making them – the parameters we are working within. Because I’ve been a faculty member and a dean, I feel I’m in a good position to foster a productive dialogue among students, faculty, and administration.

While a faculty member, what are some essential things that you learned about how to deliver educational value to students?

Number one is to understand that you can and should learn from the students. The classroom is a two-way experience. No matter how bright we think we are as faculty, no matter how much we know, there’s always something to learn. That can mean, for instance, learning new ways of teaching that are effective with a younger generation of students – the millennials. It can mean learning how to better serve students who have a disability.  My experience is that students have greater respect for teachers who understand that education is a two-way process.

I also think it’s essential to stick your neck out on behalf of your students – experiment, modify your game plan as needed, and resist the temptation to stay in your comfort zone.  That could mean, for instance, collaborating with faculty in other disciplines to create a hybrid course, like Dr. Sandy Antunes of the astronautical engineering department has done together with cybersecurity professor Rick Hansen. It can mean taking on a mentoring role for students, as Dr. Garima Bajwa did when she assisted one of our students, Zalika Dixon, in developing a project that eventually went to the Grace Hopper Celebration and won a research award.

Our new president, Dr. Sims, has shown a commitment to encouraging out-of-the-box thinking – and that’s an opportunity we should all be excited about. We all have an opportunity to take Capitol to the next version of who we are.

Higher education is often said to be going through a period of considerable flux, as schools re-evaluate what their mission is and how best to meet the needs of a rapidly changing economy. What do you see as the major challenges?

It’s crucial to stay on top of what the market is looking for, while continuing to adhere to the highest educational standards and the requirements for accreditation.  Students need the fundamentals as well as specialized academic skills. It can sometimes be a delicate balance. A given program has a prescribed number of credits. Students pay tuition for all of these credits. We don’t want students racking up massive debts paying for courses that aren’t relevant to their educational and career tracks. At the same time, we don’t want students graduating without a solid, well-rounded education that includes critical thinking and the liberal arts.

For a small, independent university like Capitol, budgets are always a challenge.  At the same time, tight budgets can fuel creative thinking and wise decision-making. Capitol has thrived over the years because we’ve made good choices. Small size is also an asset in that it makes us more agile; we can respond more quickly.

What are some things about Capitol that inspire you, that make you feel excited to be here?

This is a close-knit, caring community. Not long ago, a member of our adjunct faculty became ill while teaching requiring emergency care. She told us later that she realized that day how genuinely concerned we all are here about each other’s well-being. It’s the Capitol culture. We’ve created an environment of caring, dedicated, hard-working people who think in terms of what’s good for the school, for the students, and for each other as members of the university community. I appreciate working in this type of environment.