Not long ago, cyber attacks were rare events where a nation’s enemies tried disrupting large, strategic infrastructure operations. Increasingly, though, malicious assaults target the computer networks of small and medium businesses (SMEs), which tend to be ill prepared to cope with such situations and generally lack the resources to prevent them.
Ono Academic College’s new Master’s in Business Administration in Cyber Forensics and Security will train SME managers without technological backgrounds to fill this void: thanks to the knowledge gained through this unique program, managers will have the necessary skills to proactively protect their businesses against cyber attacks. Furthermore, they will be qualified to head the response to such attacks in an optimal manner.
Surge in cyber attacks
“Our program offers a completely innovative approach. Cyber security is not only important for large companies anymore. The impact of cyber attacks on small and medium businesses is enormous and they are becoming increasingly common,” explains Adv. Rami Tamam, a cyber crisis manager who is the head of the new Cyber Forensics and Security MBA program at Ono Academic College. “Businesses of every size must learn to reduce their exposure and handle these threats in-house. What most people don’t realize is that this is not the role of IT experts.”
Ono appears to have tapped an essential unmet need. The first cohort, which started studying last October, comprises 50 men and women with undergraduate degrees in fields such as Business, Law or Accounting, who mostly work for small private companies or government agencies. The intensive one-year degree consists of five trimesters, with classes taking place two days a week (Monday evenings and Fridays). The program has been accredited by the Israel Council of Higher Education.
“Until now, you were either a manager or a lawyer or a computer person. Our integrative approach gives our students well-rounded knowledge so that they can manage crises involving cyber events,” Adv. Tamam points out. In fact, after just one semester, students in the program attended a professional conference on cyber security and were able to actively participate in the event thanks to their newly acquired knowledge. There is no doubt that the experience they gain during their studies will be extremely valuable throughout their careers and that they will be able to make a significant contribution to the security of the companies and organizations where they will be employed.
Adv. Tamam plans to duplicate this innovative program at academic institutions around the world. He recently returned from Dubai, where he met with representatives of the Emirati innovation ecosystem. “They loved the idea of teaching cyber to non-cyber people,” he reports. In fact, the concept is being received enthusiastically both by academia and industry experts who are aware of the need for managers to be educated in this field.
The program’s classes are designed to be practical and hands-on. One of the highlights is a special simulator designed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, which enables students to gain experience managing cyber crises in a realistic environment. The curriculum also includes courses on such subjects as negotiating during a cyber crisis, game theory and crisis management in the cyber world, organizational cyber strategy, career management in a world of complex cyber, introduction to tech environments, introduction to cyber protection, cyber and data protection laws and regulations, and introduction to forensics. As in all MBA tracks, the students also take courses in basic Business disciplines such as Finance, Marketing, Data Science, Entrepreneurship, etc…
Ono College has recruited prominent cyber experts to join the faculty and teach courses in the new MBA program. In addition to Adv. Tamam, the lecturers include Jack Altal, an expert in ethical hacking; Adv. Yuval Sasson, a lawyer specializing in homeland security; Moty Crystal, Israel’s leading cyber negotiator; Kobi Pinto, head of Cyber Security at Bank Hapoalim; Hillel Kobrovski, a tech futurist and cyber trends researcher; among others.
Students completing the program will be well prepared to work in a dynamic environment where they face a variety of challenges. In addition to receiving a Master’s degree in Business Administration, graduates will also earn a certificate from the National Cyber Authority confirming that they have completed Cyber Crisis Management studies.
As an added bonus, students in the new program will also be certified as directors, since the curriculum includes a prestigious Directors course that focuses on cyber management. Boards of directors of companies all over the world are eager to add cyber experts to their boards, and this certification will allow the program’s graduates to join company boards both in Israel and abroad.
Based on the evident success of Ono’s MBA in Cyber Forensics and Security already during its first year, the new program is clearly the harbinger of an entirely new discipline which will be increasingly important for management-level employees in organizations of all sizes. Thanks to its commitment to developing academic programs rooted in real necessity, Ono Academic College is cementing its role as a leader in educational innovation.
Israel’s largest private college
Founded in 1995, Ono Academic College is the largest private college in Israel, with over 18,000 students and 36,000 alumni, divided into four faculties – Law, Health Professions, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Business Administration – as well as the School of Arts and Society and the School of Music. Ono offers a large selection of undergraduate degree programs (in Hebrew) on five campuses: Kiryat Ono, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya, and the Haredi campus in Or Yehuda.
Ono Academic College upholds first-rate academic standards and strives for excellence on every level. Students receive a topnotch education that prepares them for the “real world” and refines their abilities to contend with challenging situations. Alongside the theoretical aspects of academic studies, the curriculum also includes ample hands-on learning and practical applications. The members of Ono's first-rate faculty excel in their fields of expertise, boasting impressive careers in their professions as well as in academia. Students benefit greatly from the high quality of the teaching and from the opportunity to learn from Israel’s best. As proof, for five years in a row, Ono’s lecturers were ranked as the best in Israel according to a national student survey.
In 2023, Ono Academic College will open the first multicultural campus in Israel, which will serve as a home for all sectors and cultures and meet the challenges of Israeli society in upcoming decades. Ono’s Haredi and general campuses will merge into a single campus – the first time that a Haredi campus will operate alongside a secular one. The vision is that academia will pave the way for a more tolerant society able to embrace and empower different populations without rejecting their lifestyles. The new, modern campus near Kiryat Ono will incorporate the latest technologies and pedagogies and will offer an unprecedented learning experience.
For more information about Ono Academic College, visit the website