As the 2020 elections approach, NJCU’s Professional Security Studies Department is lending its expertise to election security in the U.S. and abroad. In January, the department was invited to send a faculty member to the NATO School in Germany to help teach information warfare to 50 NATO military officials from 19 countries, including the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Italy.
In addition to mentoring officials on best practices in detecting and responding to foreign influence efforts, NJCU’s main contribution to the two-week course was Russia-focused. Using Big Data techniques taught in the department, NJCU highlighted Russian vulnerabilities to the free flow of information – something the Russian government responds to more negatively than military exercises, diplomacy, or even economic sanctions. Thanks to our success during the course, the department was invited to return in May for the program’s next iteration.
“With the ever-changing threat landscape and ability to use the digitization of information, technology and collection sources such as social media to amass large amounts of information captured from people and machines, it is critical for national security students to develop effective competencies in the acquisition, governance, and analytics of vast amounts of data,” said Dr. Mike Krantz, Chair of the Professional Security Studies Department. “The study of this datafication offers opportunities to develop skills in identifying patterns that can be used in a variety of security contexts rather than simply collecting large amounts of information.”
The department’s work with national security data focused on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea helped it win two recent grants from the U.S. intelligence community. The first grant helps fund research and student training in cyber-security and Big Data analysis. The second grant helps the department collect and analyze hundreds of thousands of articles from Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean official media and government websites. This data and related analysis help our students tackle real world challenges and develop highly in-demand technical skills, while providing researchers around the world with additional tools to study authoritarian regimes.
“This invitation to teach information warfare to NATO military officials from 19 countries illustrates excellence on a global level and demonstrates to our students that NJCU’s Professional Security Studies Department is in the forefront of international security issues," said Dr. Michael Edmondson, Interim Dean, College of Professional Studies.
For additional information on NJCU’s Professional Security Studies Department, one of only a few departments in the country awarded federal certificates of academic excellence in both cyber-security and intelligence, please see https://www.njcu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/college-professional-studies/departments/professional-security-studies or email firstname.lastname@example.org.