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New Cybersecurity Program Prepares Professionals with Legal Knowledge

Cybersecurity is one of the most critical areas of infrastructure, whether you're talking about a major government institution, a Fortune 500 company, a small business, or your personal computer. It affects nearly everyone, everywhere.

That's why it's so important for professionals in a variety of roles to have a working understanding about the legal implications of cyber and data privacy—even if they don't have a legal degree.

The University of Southern California's (USC) Gould School of Law's online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is tailored for professionals in a range of industries who are not attorneys, but who want to expand their expertise with essential legal skills and education. There are courses that span legalities of entertainment, health care, human resources, business, and finance.

The newest offering in the program, the Privacy Law and Cybersecurity certificate, can be completed as part of the online master's degree or on its own. The program prepares students for leading roles in business and individual data protection with a core understanding of the legal background, policies and best practices that preserve digital integrity. Courses in this track include Global Regulatory Compliance, Patient Privacy Law, Cybersecurity and Cyber Crimes, Regulatory Compliance, Information Management and Risk, and Information Privacy Law.

"More than ever before, privacy law and cybersecurity are critically important, with far-reaching implications on a global scale. At USC Gould, we prepare our students to become leaders and problem-solvers who can meet today's complex challenges and make an impact within their professional roles," says USC Gould Dean Andrew T. Guzman.

'Excited to try and give back'

With a legal career spanning 25 years, Jeff Dennis is a certified privacy professional and cyber law expert. He teaches the Cybersecurity and Cyber Crimes course in the MSL program.

"I was attracted to the MSL program since it provided me with an opportunity to share my professional experiences ... Being a busy lawyer, the program also provided me with the flexibility required to handle both teaching and practicing law in effective ways," Dennis said. "Since I attended USC Gould School of Law, I was excited about the opportunity to return to USC and try to give back some of what I was provided as part of the Trojan Family."

He notes the success of his students who have a keen interest in learning and applying their new knowledge to their careers. "They are creative, hard-working, and ask challenging questions to improve their educational experience," he says.

"The biggest surprise to me was the immense diversity amongst the students, in terms of background, experience and their reasoning for pursuing a MSL degree. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I learned during the course. The discussions amongst the class were fascinating, and our live sessions became a group learning experience where the students were both the pupils and the teachers. We all learned from each other."

Learn more about the Privacy Law and Cybersecurity certificate and the Master of Studies in Law.