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What Topics are Covered in an Information Assurance Degree?

Information assurance degrees prepare graduates for jobs focused on keeping an organization’s information safe. Whether that information is a small business’s customer information or a major corporation’s internal communications, Information Assurance is vital. Companies of all sizes are continuing to rely more heavily on technology.

To effectively avoid and address these issues, people working in information assurance need cutting-edge knowledge of both software and hardware while understanding principles of security and risk management. Because of the variety of information assurance careers today, many programs also offer elective courses and specializations to allow students to focus on topics which are more important to them.i

Regis University’s online Master of Science in Information Assurance offers two specializations, one in cybersecurity and another in policy management.

Here are some of the topics you’ll learn while acquiring an information assurance degree.

IT management: Information assurance requires a thorough understanding of IT, how information systems work, how they’re connected and what threats they’re vulnerable to.ii Students learn these IT principles so they can better manage and protect these systems.

Computer networking: Because networks are so complex and potentially insecure they need constant maintenance, this is one of the most important topics covered in an information assurance degree. A deep understanding of computer networking is crucial to being able to effectively maintain and repair networks.

Information security: Security is an important subfield of information assurance. Information security protects networks and information from software attacks.iii Students learn about programming language security, data warehousing, systems analysis, cybersecurity, inter-networking and other related topics.

Risk management: There will always be risk involved in IT systems, therefore risk management is necessary to help professionals evaluate and minimize threats. By identifying risks, monitoring activities and incorporating the right tools, students learn to ensure risk remains low.

Policy, ethics and legal issues: Information assurance is part of managing liability for security risks, and comes with its own legal, ethical and policy issues.iv Legislation, regulations and liability are all issues information assurance professionals must understand. Some graduates may even choose to dedicate their career to the policy side of information assurance.

Research: Understanding research methodology can help information assurance professionals hone their skills, as well as prepare them to assist with documentation like white papers and training materials.v Research also helps professionals improve and test technologies and techniques to advance the evolution of information systems.

Students learn these skills through coursework and then apply them during the completion of their practicum, capstone and thesis.

If you’re interested in learning about hardware systems, software security, risk management and ethical issues in technology, consider a degree in information assurance. Regis University’s M.S. in Information Assurance offers an online option to help you work toward a new career on your own schedule.

References

i http://learn.org/articles/Information_Assurance_Salary_and_Career_FAQs.html
ii https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5/information-assurance-ia
iii https://www.novainfosec.com/2011/08/30/information-assurance-versus-information-security/
iv http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/1111138214_259148.pdf
v https://www.nsa.gov/what-we-do/research/ia-research/