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Online MBA

Dr. A.J. Burns III


Professor at Baylor University


Dr. A.J. Burns III, Professor at Baylor University
"Students wanting to work in the cyber security space should embrace lifelong learning. They should recognize that principled, theory-driven approaches to cyber security provide expertise with lasting relevance."

Degrees Held:

  • DBA in Computer Information Systems - Louisiana Tech University
  • MBA - Louisiana State University
  • BS Finance - Louisiana State University

Career Highlights:

  • Becoming a research faculty member at Baylor University
  • Holding a faculty position (lecturer) at Cornell University
  • Serving as a postdoctoral research scholar at Vanderbilt University
  • Publishing several peer-reviewed articles in some of our highest ranked journals
  • Publishing a cover article at Communications of the ACM
  • Publishing research funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Science Foundation (NSF)

In which online MBA program do you teach?

MBA with a concentration in Cyber Security


What do students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

Students will study many of the fundamental aspects of cyber security. The class primarily takes a managerial view of cyber security and covers a number of important topics such as risk assessment processes, cyber risk management, cryptography, and networks. Students are also exposed to current threats in cyber security.


What advice would you give to prospective online students?

Students wanting to work in the cyber security space should embrace lifelong learning. They should recognize that principled, theory-driven approaches to cyber security provide expertise with lasting relevance. I also encourage students to really pay attention in their other business classes. Speaking the language of business will serve you well in your careers.


What qualities make someone particularly successful in cyber security?

When discussing cyber security candidates, I often hear recruiters and executives discuss a certain attitude and aptitude necessary to be successful in cyber security. I think this reflects the fact that cyber security folks have to embrace lifelong learning and be able to think critically. Another characteristic that is important is personal character. To be effective, cyber security personnel must be able to be trusted with their organizations most sensitive assets.


What do you think is the biggest challenge in cyber security today?

There are a number of unique challenges to the cyber security space. One obvious challenge is the evolving nature of the threats. Technological innovation continues to transform the very nature of work. However, each new technology and system has the potential to create new vulnerabilities. By definition, the more reliant an organization is on technology, the more potentially catastrophic the result of its failure. Managing this risk is a very real challenge.


What is the one book you think everyone should read?

I can't say there is one essential book for cyber security. Perhaps a book by Brian Krebs or Bruce Schneier would be a good place to start.


Tell us something your students might not know about you:

I began my professional career in the finance industry. I tend to view organizational cyber security as a risk management issue, rather than strictly a technology issue.


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