College of Technology Program earns National Honor for the University of Houston

The University of Houston has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) for academic years 2009-2014. The CAEIAE designation is a university-wide designation that states that the University of Houston satisfies all of the criteria required to be designated as a CAEIAE by the National Security Agency. Faculty from the Technology Project Management - Information Systems Security (TPM-ISS) program in the Department of Information and Logistics Technology at the College of Technology spear-headed the effort to receive this designation and honor. Notice of receiving CAEIAE was sent by the Information Assurance Directorate with a ceremony recognizing the achievement of CAEIAE designation to take place during the 13th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) on June 3, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.

The TPM-ISS program is the only official program in Information Security (INFOSEC) at the University of Houston, without which CAEIAE designation would be very difficult if not impossible to achieve. The TPM-ISS program contains a four-course Information Systems Security specialization consisting of ITEC 5321—Principles of Information Systems Security, ITEC 6322—Secure Enterprise Computing, ITEC 6323—Cryptography and Information Systems Security, and ITEC 6324—Information Systems Security Risk Analysis. These courses provide the content in information assurance and certification required as a minimum requirement relative to being eligible to apply for designation as a CAEIAE. TPM-ISS INFOSEC courses satisfy the national training and education standards for the duties and responsibilities of Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals (NSTISSI 4011), Information Systems Security Officers (CNSSI 4014e), and Information Security Risk Analysts (CNSSI 4016e) of the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) program of the National Security Agency (NSA). The TPM-ISS INFOSEC courses were NSTISSI 4011 and CNSSI 4014e certified in Summer 2005 and recertified in Summer 2008. CNSSI 4016e certification will be officially awarded at the same time as awarding of CAEIAE at the CISSE-2009 meeting in Seattle. The ISS specialization is designed to produce professionals that can provide enterprise security evaluation and assessment.

The Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education has been a major objective by the TPM-ISS faculty and the College of Technology for over three years. The groundwork for achieving this award by the National Security Agency was laid by the faculty in the Information & Logistics Technology department in achieving NSTISSI 4011, CNSSI 4014e, and CNSSI 4016e for the INFOSEC courses in the TPM-ISS degree program. Without having those certifications, the University of Houston would not be eligible to apply for CAEIAE designation. In addition, the TPM-ISS faculty enlisted the help of faculty from 4 different departments in three different colleges at the University of Houston. Under the direction and supervision of the College of Technology, the collaboration was formulated with the application process housed within the College of Technology. While this is a great achievement for the University of Houston, the management of the application process and supervision of faculty involved in providing application content demonstrates once again the leadership of the College of Technology in initiatives important to advancing the University of Houston.