Students Dive into Newly Launched Cyber-risk Management Degree Program

A new group of Drury students are preparing themselves for one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country with an in-demand mix of digital and business skills. They are enrolled in Drury’s cyber-risk management degree program in the Breech School of Business, which launched this fall.

Logan Favreau

Logan Favreau

“Originally when I came to Drury, I just planned on going to the business school but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do,” says Drury Cyber-risk Management student Logan Favreau. Then, as his sophomore year approached, Favreau caught wind of the new cyber-risk management major for undergraduate students. It didn’t take him long to see the benefits of being part of such a program.

The need for experts in cybersecurity is great, and growing at an alarming rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for information security analysts is expected to grow by 28 percent through 2026, four times faster than the growth of the average career field.

“People are storing more and more things on servers, whether or not they know it,” explains Patrick Flynn, another cyber-risk management student at Drury. “Whenever you have something in the cloud it’s not really floating around the middle of nowhere where no one can get it; it’s stored somewhere where you can access it remotely, and someone can steal that information.”

Cyber threats have real consequences, not only for individuals, but also for businesses and even governments. According to a 2018 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), nearly $600 billion are lost to cybercrime annually.

An Integrated Experience

Now, students like Favreau and Flynn are diving into cybersecurity firsthand.  

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn

Flynn says that so far they’ve learned about virtual machines, IP addresses, and network security as one might expect, but what really sets his cyber-risk management classes apart from others is the real-world projects they’ve undertaken.

“We are actually designing an app for a nonprofit organization,” he says. “And it’s actually going to benefit them and it’s actually going to be developed within the next year.”

Ultimately, Flynn’s class hopes their application will be benefited for the benefit of the local homeless community in Springfield. 

Both Favreau and Flynn also appreciate that Drury’s program balances the technical knowledge of computers with important contextual knowledge of business to give them a well-rounded, marketable foundation.

The program will help graduates stand apart in the field by giving them equal, in-depth exposure to both business principles and computer science know-how. It is the only program in the region – and one of the few in the nation – to take such a deeply integrated approach to training cybersecurity professionals.

“It’s a look at both the computer science aspect and the management aspect of a business operation,” says Favreau. “So to me it gives the best of both worlds.”

Story by Marketing & Communications graduate assistant Bryan Haynes.