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Program Overview

The Harrisburg University, Security Center of Excellence, Information Security Officer Certificate Program provides a unique focus on leadership information security for executive-level IT professionals. It enables IT leaders responsible for information security to further develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed at the executive level.

The program focuses on enhancing the following skills:

  • Leadership and Management – leadership and communication skills to build alliances across the business and establish security strategies that align with organizational objectives. 
  • Information Security Governance & Risk Management – Compliance requirements and the strategic decisions based on the identification of risk 
  • Information Security Architecture Management – Fundamental concepts of computer security, software development lifecycle, and countermeasures 
  • Security Technology & Operations – Incident detection, incident response, and disaster recovery scenarios.

“Coming from a mostly operational background, I benefitted most from the discussions on risk management and building a security program. Plus I learned how to get a seat at the leadership table.”

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Certificate Student

Program Benefits/Curriculum

To enable Information Security Officers to successfully bridge business and security strategies, the curriculum balances technical and management topics, and will appeal to both those who are natural techies, and those who are more at home with business and management responsibilities.

By focusing on security strategy, technology, communications policy, finance, and emerging technologies, the program covers a broad range of knowledge and skills needed to lead at the executive level.

Senior level IT security professionals will experience a venue for peer learning, network building and brainstorming that is refreshing and highly valuable.

Participants will explore all of the relevant skills and knowledge to conduct a throrough security assessment of their own organization, resulting in an action plan for improvement as an applied project and work-product.

Performance Objectives

This course prepares individuals to perform the primary responsibilities of a Information Security Officer.  Application of these skills to the performance of security management will be emphasized.

The program will help develop the skills and knowledge needed to:

  • Provide strategic leadership as a steward of the organization’s information security and a trusted partner with other business executives in the organization.
  • Develop and implement a robust, accurate, and actionable metrics reporting process that maps back to the business.
  • Understand and manage the risk posture of an organization.
  • Communicate and work closely with legal and privacy officers to protect the organization from legal and regulatory non-compliance.
  • Establish and manage the organization’s security policy catalog.
  • Understand requirements for secure development lifecycle, and application security concepts.
  • Understand and manage the security implications of emerging technologies.
  • Secure adequate resources, and manage the IT Security budget.
  • Lead and manage a technical staff of security managers, architects, engineers and specialists, as well as contractors and vendors.

Program Format

  • This program is 8 months in duration
  • Classess met in-person, on-site at Harrisburg University, 2-days per month on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm *unless otherwise noted on special dates (i.e. summit days)

The program will be led by corporate faculty, in collaboration with industry experts who present special topics. Class sessions are dynamic and interactive. These include presentations, case studies, group exercises and guest lecturers from leading technology companies. Peer learning is emphasized as a valuable method of gaining perspective and discussing lessons learned from others within the cohort. Additionally, independent readings, the applied security assessment project, and online discussions support varied instructional approaches for all kinds of learners.

Required Qualifications

Candidates must possess the following criteria to be considered for admission in Information Security Officer Certificate program:

  • A Minimum of 5 years’ IT security experience -OR- IT security leadership responsibility in their current role;
  • Senior-level management/executive responsibility; AND
  • Candidates are anticipated to be an Information Security Officer, -OR- have CISO or ISO responsibilities.

Application Process

PART 1 – The application form allows candidates to present their learning goals, past experiences, expertise, and knowledge they will bring to the cohort for consideration.  Candidates will be notified in a timely manner as to their acceptance into the CISO cohort.

PART 2 – Candidates will demonstrate the support of their senior leadership by submitting a letter of nomination written on their behalf. The nomination letter should include your current position and responsibilities, along with skills, knowledge, and any special projects that you were/are responsible for.

The nomination letter should be addressed to “GTI Directors” and emailed to with the subject line as, “Information Security Officer Nomination Letter for [YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME]”

Expectations of Participants and Class Attendance Policy

Participants will be expected to complete readings and some written work prior to sessions. A capstone project, applying the program’s core curriculum to a tech assessment project will be produced and presented by participants.

Attendance at a minimum of 90% of the sessions is required.

Awarding of a certificate of completion will be based on a pass-fail assessment of the program’s curricular, attendance, and project-based requirements.


Our Centers and Institutes Security Center of Excellence (SCE)

The Harrisburg University GTI Security Center of Excellence aims to be a strategic partner with public sector organizations in their information security and cyber defense efforts by providing innovative and effective educational programs and community building services.


ADA Statement:
HU is committed to providing equal education opportunity and full participation for persons with disabilities. It is HU’s policy that no qualified person be excluded from participating in any HU program or activity, be denied the benefits of any HU program or activity, or otherwise be subject to discrimination regarding any HU program or activity. Should you potentially require an accommodation under the ADA to participate in this program, please email Please send your request for an accommodation at least 5 business days in advance of the event or program.

326 Market St, Harrisburg, PA 17101
P: (717) 901-5100 Contact Us