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IBM Helps University of Missouri Mirror Real-World Security Threats and Improve IT Auditing Curriculum


COLUMBIA, MO - 14 Apr 2008: As part of its ongoing commitment to build 21st century skills, the University of Missouri (MU) has teamed with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to arm its students with the latest information technology (IT) security and compliance training. This training will help MU students acquire the expertise required to help reduce the risk of financial losses caused through non-compliance, a key challenge faced by global businesses today.

Web applications represent one of today's most significant online business risks. Ignoring a security risk can result in the loss of sensitive data that can have a crippling impact on an organization's bottom line. The need for reducing this gap is heightened by a surge in global standards and regulations aimed at keeping personal and corporate information safe and private.

This semester, MU's Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business will utilize the software and resources of IBM's Academic Initiative to strengthen its Information Systems Control and Assurance education with a new security component. About 60 students per year will complete the course as part of the School of Accountancy's 150-hour master's of accountancy program.

"CEOs are searching for a qualified talent pool of future IT leaders who can successfully maintain the security of their sensitive data," said Kevin Faughnan, Director of IBM's Academic Initiative. "As industry regulations become stricter and websites grow in complexity, building skills around compliance and security issues will give students at the University of Missouri an edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

The Trulaske College of Business has incorporated IBM's web application security software -- called IBM Rational AppScan -- as a key part of its IT audit curriculum, using the technology to enhance real world security auditing techniques. In addition, the college will utilize IBM's on demand, web-based training, as another way to educate non-security professionals on application security fundamentals and industry best practices.

According to recent projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, accounting and auditing is listed as one of the occupations currently seeing some of the largest job growth. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center has also projected, for the years 2004-2014, the role of accountant/auditor has been and will continue to be one of the top 50 careers with the most job openings in the state of Missouri.

"Data theft, compliance and security incidents are on the front lines of mainstream news. Our students will understand that traditional controls can be ineffective against newer web-based threats," said Dr. Elaine Mauldin, BKD Professor, University of Missouri. "Today's workplace requires more than just security tools -- it also requires employees skilled in security compliance auditing and best practices. MU recognizes that improper IT security is both a technical and business risk and our new security case component, utilizing IBM's Rational AppScan software offers an opportunity to strengthen the auditing profession and help improve security as a whole. Our students will be better prepared to enter the workforce as a result of this new and innovative curriculum."

After evaluating other solutions MU also selected Rational AppScan to help lock down its own Website security. Rational AppScan identifies, validates and reports on application security vulnerabilities to help address risks by building security early in the development process before the applications go live.

"We believe that Web application security is one of the greatest information security risks organizations face today and have made application security a key component of our overall information security program," said Beth Chancellor, Associate Chief Information Officer, MU. "Web application auditing has taken a high priority at the University. It was logical for the IT office to work with Dr. Mauldin to bring hands-on experience to her classroom through the use of IBM Rational AppScan software."

IBM's latest efforts expand on its university programs around hardware, software and services -- emphasizing both IT and business skills to meet the needs of a competitive, global workforce at over 2,400 universities worldwide for more than two million students. Through IBM's Academic Initiative website at www.ibm.com/university, IBM offers more than 250 course modules to faculty at no cost, including 56 courses on Rational software. IBM's Academic Initiative for System z (Mainframe) hardware program has brought local universities across the globe together with IBM to help train and educate nearly 50,000 students on mainframe and large enterprise computing skills over the past four years.

For more information on Rational AppScan, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/rational/offerings/testing/webapplicationsecurity/

For more information on the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, visit http://business.missouri.edu/

Contact(s) information

Jennifer C. Clemente
IBM Media Relations
415-748-2212
jennic@us.ibm.com

Karen Lilla
IBM Rational Communications
617-693-8115
Karen_lilla@us.ibm.com

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