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Cybersecurity Basics for Managers: A Starter Kit for Understanding How to Protect Data and Information

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

InstructorDavid Cafaro, 
Information Security Officer, Capital One 

Program Fee: $750

Call for Team Rates! 540-568-4038

Topics Addressed
  • What is the goal of information security?

  • Who are the attackers, and what motivates them?

  • How does information relate to your organization's business priority?

  • Understand the Tradeoffs: How can we balance the probability and potential impact of events with the cost to protect against them?

  • Jargon 101: From Trojans, RATS, and NIDS to brute force, threat hunting, and blue hats, learn the terms important to the cybersecurity conversation.

  • What are the resources to explore best practices in data protection?

  • What are the major federal regulatory laws?

  • Social Engineering: How to Encourage Employees to Protect the Front Lines

  • Solutions and Snake Oil: Can we know if vendors and software will deliver on their promises?

  • Yikes! Now what?  Identify considerations and approaches if data is compromised.

  • Additional resources

Note: This is an introductory course intended to identify topics and considerations.  It is not equivalent to an undergraduate or graduate degree or credit-based course.  Individuals seeking deeper and more comprehensive education should consider JMU's 100% Online Masters Degree in Information Security or the online Cyber Intelligence Security Graduate Certificate, or any of a number of related undergraduate degrees.

Meet the Instructor

David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

Program Partners

James Madison University Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) is pleased to partner with JMU's 4-VA, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and the Roanoke Higher Education Center in development of this noncredit certificate program.

4VA Logo   SVTC Logo   Roanoke Higher Education Center

Registration Information

Program Admission Requirements: There are no admission requirements to take this class.

Program Completion Requirements: In order to successfully earn the certificate of completion, you must attend all class meetings. 

Questions about Registration or Program Content…

Contact Professional Development at or 540/568.4253.

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