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The confidence to protect. The influence to prevent.

Information Security Leadership

Top-tier Master's. Part-time, 100% online.

Professional woman with glasses standing in front with men at a board room table in background.

Earn the confidence to attack any cybersecurity situation with both leadership and technical savvy.

Learn alongside leaders from many industries and significantly expand your exposure to cybersecurity threats of all kinds.

The information security industry is high stakes and always changing. There is immense responsibility to protect information in an ever-changing landscape of cyber security risk, and leaders know that an event could be catastrophic to companies, customers, and careers.  

A Brandeis MS in Information Security Leadership empowers you with the confidence of a top-tier master’s to lead through any cybersecurity challenge, and to influence decisions for risk prevention.

Build your leadership savvy and skill in leveraging technical know-how as you learn alongside cybersecurity leaders from many industries. In small seminar-style classes with no more than 12 students, your exposure to cyber security threats of all kinds will be significantly expanded.

Brandeis University is consistently ranked as a top national university by U.S. News and World Report, so with your MS in Information Security Leadership you will experience the confidence of someone who has earned a master’s from one of the best universities in the country.


The program will equip you to:

  • Develop a business case for investing in cybersecurity and risk management.
  • Inform and influence senior executives to commit to obtaining and maintaining this investment.
  • Oversee the planning, acquisition and evolution of secure infrastructures.
  • Assess the impact of security policies and regulatory requirements on complex systems and organizational objectives.

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The 30-credit part-time, 100% online program has six required courses and four electives.

Admissions Criteria

Please note that we are not currently accepting applications for the MS in Information Security Leadership program for the 2020-2021 academic year.

In addition to the general admissions requirements, those applying to the Information Security Leadership program should have completed undergraduate-level coursework or have equivalent experience in:

  • Introduction to networking AND
  • Introduction to computer science AND
  • Introduction to computer security

If you are interested in pursuing this program and do not meet the prerequisites above, please speak with an enrollment advisor about your options.

Take your place among the influencers with a MS in Information Security Leadership from Brandeis University.


Part-time, fully online, financially accessible.

10 Courses, 30 Credits: Build your leadership savvy and earn your degree in 15 to 30 months.

View the current curriculum with full course descriptions and electives.

Required Courses

Foundations of Information Security
  • Topics covered: Fundamental security technologies and concepts in the areas of access control, cryptography, telecommunications and network security, application development security, and physical (environmental) security
  • Skills gained:
    • Categorize security attacks, threats, and vulnerabilities
    • Analyze access control models and differentiate among authentication methods such as passwords, tokens, and biometrics
    • Assess and illustrate encryption processes
    • Identify, manage, and defend against IT network threats and vulnerabilities
    • Identify and analyze software-related threats and vulnerabilities
Information Security Management
  • Topics covered: Security strategy and execution plans; security operations; security architecture and design; information security governance and risk management; business continuity and disaster recovery planning; topics in legal, regulations, investigations and compliance
  • Skills gained:
    • Evaluate security controls and operations; create sustainable operational security
    • Evaluate security policies, procedures, baselines, and guidelines
    • Develop strategies for assessing risks, perform risk analysis and tradeoff analysis
    • Analyze business continuity strategies and disaster recovery plans
    • Assess the role of laws, regulations, and compliance in the context of security and privacy protection
Principles of Computer Incident Response and Investigation
  • Topics covered: Vulnerabilities and countermeasures; disaster recovery planning; risk assessment; security policies and procedures; testing and rehearsals; recovery to insure continuity
  • Skills gained:
    • Build an incident response plan that addresses preparation, organization, prevention, detection, notification, reaction, recovery, and maintenance
    • Build a disaster recovery plan that addresses preparation, implementation, operation, and maintenance.
    • Assess enterprise-level risks related to disaster recovery
    • Develop disaster recovery policies and procedures
    • Prepare a business continuity plan addressing preparation, implementation, operation, and maintenance
Principles of Risk Management in Information Security
  • Topics covered: Information security risk assessment frameworks; communication of risk data; quantifying uncertainties related to business decisions about information security
  • Skills gained:
    • Assess the relationship between risk management and business & information security
    • Analyze US and international legal/regulatory obligations and their impact on risk management practices
    • Perform practical risk assessments and quantify uncertainties of business decisions
    • Apply assessment methodologies and describe their outcomes
Information Security and Compliance
  • Topics covered: Cost vs. risk balancing; risk-based decision-making; administrative and technical methods for security, privacy, and compliance; privacy regulations and IT compliance; soft skills essential for information security executives
  • Skills gained:
    • Evaluate an enterprise’s posture on the drivers for information security, privacy, and compliance
    • Develop a risk-based approach to information security, privacy strategies, and a compliance regime
    • Analyze threats to security and privacy and identify methods, tools, and techniques to remedy the threats
    • Write effective security policies
    • Assess current privacy and compliance regulations and future directions
    • Build effective security, privacy, and compliance practices that address personnel and budgetary issues
Leading Security in Complex Organizations
  • Topics covered: C-Suite and Board communication  strategies and skills; security risk management and data privacy; IT policy and regulatory matters; budget and financial impact analysis; qualitative and quantitative risk metrics
  • Skills gained:
    • Express and translate complex matters clearly, writing and presenting to executives or Board audiences with the appropriate professional and persuasive communications
    • Provide critical assessment of IT security needs within an organization and convey solutions with budget context and requirements
    • Assess key success factors in assembling and leading risk analysis and risk management teams
    • Articulate generally accepted IT risk management and audit practices


Learn to lead through any cybersecurity challenge

The Brandeis GPS Information Security Leadership experience was everything that I anticipated- current and relevant curriculum, world class instructors, and the flexibility to meet my work schedule. I came away from the program confident in what I had learned and was able to apply it immediately. The diversity of the program took me outside of my professional expertise and provided a broad foundational understanding of emerging topics.
— Sam, MS in Information Security Leadership Graduate, 2018

The Information Security Leadership program convenes cybersecurity specialists from the military, finance, retail, education and healthcare and many other industries. As a student in the program, you’ll benefit from the diverse perspectives and insights your peers bring to each online classroom.

Join a network of engaged, proactive information security professionals. Our students hold positions at:

  • Dell EMC
  • Analog Devices
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Raytheon
  • RSA Security
  • Mathworks
  • Parametric Technology Corporation

Students in the program often hold the following job titles:

  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Support Specialist
  • Director of IT and Security
  • Test Engineer
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • IT Service Desk Manager
  • Sr. Manager Network Services
  • Director, Information Security


Join information security experts

The MS in Information Security Leadership is a top-tier master’s degree created and taught by security experts. The program is led by an experienced program chair and professional advisory board who use their expertise to keep the coursework current and relevant.

As a student, you’ll learn from adjunct faculty who work full-time outside of Brandeis, bringing real-world experiences and connections to their classrooms.

Get to know some of your program’s leadership team:

Derek Brink, Faculty
VP & Research Fellow, IT Security and IT GRC, Aberdeen Group

Sue Bergamo, Program Chair
CIO & CISO, Episerver

Don Anderson, Jr., Advisory Board
Senior Vice President and CIO, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Ellen Rinaldi, Advisory Board
Chief Security Officer, Vanguard


Your degree, your university

With the MS in Information Security Leadership, you are investing in a master’s degree from one of the top universities in the country.

  • Over the last 70 years, Brandeis has been committed to providing a rigorous, high-quality education to a diverse student population. The university was founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community at a time when ethnic and racial minorities faced discrimination in higher education.
  • The Brandeis alumni community includes researchers, entrepreneurs, Pulitzer Prize winners, McArthur Fellows, Emmy Award-winning actors and producers and philanthropists.
  • In 2017, faculty members Michael Roshbach and Jeffrey Hall received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. From Anita Hill to Eileen McNamara, Brandeis faculty are recognized as some of the best in the world.

Get the latest university news and updates here.

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