Niagara University’s Master of Science in Information Security and Digital Forensics program has been validated by the United States’ National Security Agency, recognizing it as a top advanced degree program that will contribute to the greater national mission of preparing a qualified and robust cybersecurity workforce. The designation was awarded after a review completed by the NSA in partnership with a committee of academic peers.

As a NSA-validated program, Niagara’s M.S. ISDF program gives graduates a competitive advantage for careers in cybersecurity. Its proven ability to meet the increasing requirements of this high-demand industry and its demonstrated community leadership in the field ensures that students are well-prepared to join the nation’s highly-skilled cybersecurity workforce in protecting the country’s information infrastructure and fostering a strategic national security advantage. Niagara’s validation extends through 2029.

"The NSA validation for the ISDF program is fantastic for Niagara University and highlights the quality that our cybersecurity program delivers,” said Dr. Petter Lovaas, associate professor and chair of the department. “We are honored and thrilled to participate in NSA's mission to educate quality cybersecurity professionals for our future."

The 36-credit-hour program equips students to manage and react to cybersecurity threats that have presented challenges across all industries. Students gain skills that can be used in professional areas such as computer, cloud, and mobile forensics, network security, defensive security, and data privacy through hands-on work in the university’s state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab, which is equipped with specialized software in computer and mobile forensics. Students also conduct research and have presented their findings at the statewide Annual Symposium on Information Assurance. Graduates can go on to obtain the Certified Information Systems Security Management Professionals (CISSP) certification, and have found employment with the FBI, the NSA, and local companies, including M&T Bank.

Students may also opt to enroll in Niagara’s B.S. in Computer and Information Sciences program, which leads directly into the master’s degree program as part of the 4+1 accelerated master’s program, enabling them to graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years.

"As an NSA-validated program, ISDF students have access to the latest cybersecurity tools and research,” said Dr. Glenn Papp Jr., assistant professor. “There are more opportunities than ever before for students to develop their cybersecurity careers at Niagara University."

In 2022, the program was also accepted into the United States Cyber Command's Academic Engagement Network. As part of the AEN, Niagara students have access to communications and information regarding challenges in the cybersecurity space and potential impacts, invitations to USCYBERCOM webinars and consortiums, and access to guest lecturers from USCYBERCOM.

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