CYBERSECURITY: Protecting yourself and your students

Rajni goel, Ph.D.

Februrary 19, 2013


Originally trained as a mathematician, Rajni earned her Ph.D. in Information Technology from George Mason University, concentrating on Information Security.  Since joining the HU Business School’s Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences in 2003, she has conducted research on information security, railway security, privacy, and data mining.  She has published or presented numerous papers on topics ranging from how to secure trains and supply chains to how to secure online bidding and purchasing. Consequently, she has become a master of cryptography and digital forensics as well as an authority on threats to the privacy of consumers and social media users.  She has also garnered more than $1 million in grants from the federal government to develop secure wireless communication systems for U.S. railways.
Rajni’s research interests have led her to establish a center for cybersecurity research and education at Howard.  In 2010, having assumed the chair of her department, Rajni co-founded, with former provost James Wyche, the Howard University Cybersecurity Research Center.  Within a year, thanks to the efforts of Rajni and Dr. Wayne Patterson from the Department of Systems & Computer Science, the Center had earned a designation by the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.  This designation allows Howard students to apply for federal grants and scholarships and, thus, helps Rajni fulfill her dream of preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
With this aim in mind, Rajni teaches courses such as INFO 391 Introduction to Information Security, INFO 395 Information Assurance, and GIST 508 Information Security Management.  As her students attest, she is passionate about students learning about cybersecurity.  Why? As she told a Howard Magazine reporter, “If we educate our students on how to recognize cyberthreats and how to protect against them, we are one step closer to protecting our country from terrorism”(Winter 2012, p. 16).

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