This year I am working on expanding my research into Information System Security. I am finishing up a thesis for Master of Information Technology in Information Assurance and Security, which I will complete in January. The research study is entitled, “Exploring Methods to Empower Users to Identify and Address Spear Phishing Attacks to Combat Ransomware and Identity Theft.” Upon completion of the thesis, I will also take the information from the study and publish a peer-reviewed article. I have also submitted an article for peer-reviewed publication entitled, “Improving Backup System Evaluations in Information Security Risk Assessments to Combat Ransomware” which address a gap in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) guidance for information security risk assessments, which I anticipate will be published in the first quarter of 2018.
I’ve also focused on leveraging my position in the IT industry as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a Backup and Security Managed services firm to generate more academic works that help practitioners in the field. I’ve published a series of articles on LinkedIn entitled, “Combatting Ransomware with Traditional Backups,” with Part II of series being, “Is Your Backup a Real Backup?” and will publish the third article in the series “An Overview of the Ransomware Process for Managers” in mid-January. Response to these practice-based academic information has been very positive as ransomware is major problem experienced by IT organizations world-wide. Consequently, I’ve been invited to speak/present at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service in College Station, Texas by the Texas A&M Government Services Unit. In these lectures I will be presenting information about ransomware, utilizing backups to combat ransomware, and introducing a new algorithm/process to can enable backup systems to detect ransomware infections before ransom notifications along with two colleagues.
So next year is going to be an exciting year for research as I expand my areas of interest beyond my previous research areas of consumer behavior, and adult learning concepts into a third area of information system security. I’ve been invited to teach cybersecurity as an adjunct at Excelsior College and am exploring a similar opportunity with Texas A&M. I am hopeful that as I
develop myresearch paths in this area, that I might be able to assist in the College of Science, Engineering, & Technology at GCU as well if the need arises.