Recent headlines loom large during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 4, 2016 — October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The task of protecting hardware, software and data from hackers and thieves becomes more difficult – and more important – all the time.

In just the last few weeks, cybersecurity issues have been prominent in national headlines. These stories are excellent examples of how leaders and managers at all levels, and across all sectors of the economy, need to be informed about cybersecurity. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. Employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity expert and Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey is available to speak to media about these recent headlines, and cybersecurity generally.

  • This summer, hackers leaked nearly 20,000 emails from the database of the Democratic National Committee, forcing the resignation of the DNC chairwoman.
  • Last month, Yahoo announced that some 500 million user accounts had been compromised by an unnamed foreign government. The massive breach exposed a failure by Yahoo’s senior leadership to prioritize security during an attempt to turn around the company’s fortunes.
  • The FBI is investigating hacks into the databases of election boards in two states, and FBI Director James Comey recently told Congress that hackers could cast doubt on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election in November. Although the overall integrity of the election is not in peril, Comey said the mere appearance of meddling would be cause for concern.
  • In recent days cybersecurity guru and independent journalist Brian Krebs, who runs the blog Krebs on Security, renewed his wake-up call to the larger online community about the danger posed by the open network of everyday devices known as the “Internet of Things” after his site was knocked offline by one of the largest DDoS attacks yet seen.
  • In 2015, news broke that the federal Office of Personnel Management had been hacked, leading to the breach of information on the personnel files on 4.2 million former and current government employees. A new House committee report on the breach said leadership at OPM failed to implement recommended security improvements that could have prevented the attack. The report said the “absence of an effective managerial structure to implement reliable IT security policies” meant fundamental weaknesses remained.


Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 861-8884, (417) 873-7242 or

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