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Why Every Business Leader Needs A Cyber Security Executive MBA

Staying ahead in the business world requires a keen understanding of cyber security—find out how you can improve your skills in this area with an Executive MBA

Cyber security is no longer just a specialist subject reserved for those in highly technical jobs. Understanding this rapidly emerging subject will be vital regardless of which role or business sector you work in.

In fact, cyber security is one of the most dominant threats facing businesses worldwide.

Organizations need business leaders who can not only lead a team but analyze cyber security issues affecting every level of the business.

Here’s why every business leader could benefit from a Cyber Security Executive MBA:

1. Business leaders need a blend of skills

If you want to be a successful business leader, you’ll need to be armed with a diverse set of skills.

You might be great at management, understanding operations, and marketing principles, but if you can’t blend these skills with a technical mindset, you’re going to experience stumbling blocks.

Executive MBA programs are perfect for mid- to senior-level business leaders looking to enhance their skills in an advanced setting. But if you want to take it a step further, specialized Executive MBA programs can provide professionals with a unique edge.

The two-year, part-time Cyber Security Executive MBA (CEMBA) at Lancaster University Management School is designed for both professionals from a technical or non-technical background who want to become well versed in the emerging world of cyber.

Robyn V. Remke is the co-director of the Cyber Security EMBA. 

“Since it’s an MBA program, it includes the core curriculum with an added layer of the security framework—you’re able to see how these aspects of leadership sit within a larger strategy around security,” she says, “it’s an ideal match.”

For instance, students take core courses in Business Economic and Financial Literacy alongside more specialized options in Cyber Security Core Technologies. 

2. Cyber security impacts all areas of business

It’s a common myth that cyber security is reserved for people working in tech. 

“Sometimes we assume cyber is only important for government jobs, for example, but every organization needs to be aware of cybersecurity issues,” says Robyn.

Cyber security can revolve around data protection, risk management, fraud reduction, minimizing hacking threats and phishing scams, and much more, so the benefits of understanding cyber security are endless.

3. Increased job opportunities and career advancement

Although businesses are increasingly recognizing the need for everyone to understand cyber, it’s still a highly challenging topic to get your head around.

Yet doing so could enhance your job opportunities as businesses look to recruit leaders who can go beyond just leading teams but protecting clients and employees from cyber security related issues.

In the UK alone, there is a huge skills deficit in cyber security. Around 50% of UK businesses have a skills gap in this area, while 33% have an advanced cyber security skills gap—according to the UK Government.

“The skills deficit represents not just people with high technical expertise but people who understand the key elements of cyber,” says Robyn.

Although there are established career routes including director of technology or transformation, more and more organizations are creating roles in areas such as chief or director of cyber security, and in HR compliance.

“A lot of people don’t realize that cyber security is central to caring for the company’s environment, people, and community,” she says. 

For this reason, the CEMBA offers courses in Human Factors in Cyber Security and Responsible Innovation and Digitalization for Business. 

4. You’ll be immersed in cutting edge research

Since cyber security is a rapidly evolving area it can feel challenging to keep up-to-date with ongoing developments.

Robyn says that the Cyber Security Executive MBA at Lancaster navigates this challenge in multiple ways. 

Firstly, the program is taught by tutors and professors from across both the management school and the school of computing, who help to ensure the program stays ahead of the curve.

Secondly, every course is partnered with a subject matter expert, such as consultants who work on real day-to-day challenges within cyber security. Some of these executives come from well-known organizations such as NHS Trust and BP while the subject matter experts are supplied by Templar Executives—a cyber security and information assurance consultancy. 

In fact, the program is certified by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)–being one of the first non-scientific programs to achieve this feat. 

5. You’ll apply your cyber security skills to your career 

Knowing about cyber is important but knowing how to implement your knowledge in a real-world environment is even more crucial.

The Cyber Security EMBA at Lancaster offers working professionals the opportunity to apply their knowledge into their roles. 

In one of the first courses, students learn about leadership in the context of leading in times of risk and how to create secure environments for the supply chain. Professionals are invited to question what this looks like within their workplace and what they can do differently to adapt their leadership style.

In the final year of the program, professionals will work in a team to navigate a security problem as part of the Cyber Security Challenge course. 

“The curriculum can be applied from the very start of the program,” says Robyn.

This will be especially useful for professionals looking to advance their skills in a short amount of time as they are able to reflect on their new-found knowledge within the context of a real business environment, concludes Robyn. 

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