Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Why More MBA Programs Need Cyber Security Training

More management courses needed to combat web hacking

Mon Oct 26 2015

The theft of up to four million customers’ financial details from TalkTalk last week highlights the growing need for business managers to hone some cyber security skills.

The attack on TalkTalk, the latest in a long stream of high-profile business hacks, has been labelled as a “wake up call” for business. But despite the growing cyber threat, cyber security is yet to become a focus for many companies and business schools.

Those leading the push for cyber security in formal business training have told BusinessBecause that more business schools should develop specialist courses to combat hacking.

David Upton, professor at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, which this year launched a UK cyber risk program for senior business managers, said: “Cyber security should be a standard part of any business education.”

Peter Swire, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, which has a course on information security for business students, said there is an “urgent need” to bridge the gap between the code-level technologists and top management.

“We train our students to fill that gap,” added Peter, who has advised US president Barack Obama on cyber security.

Over the past 12 months, companies from adultery site Ashley Madison to carmaker Fiat Chrysler and Dixons Carphone, the retailer, have been rocked by cyber attacks.

Nine out of 10 large companies in the UK alone have suffered an online security breach, according to a survey by PwC and the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in June. What’s more, the average cost of the most damaging breaches for big firms more than doubled over a year to £1.4 million.

“The multiple threats of computer crime have enormous consequences, not only financial and reputational but [they] also can harm a nation’s security and well-being,” said Konstantina Kappou, director of the MSc Financial Risk Management at Henley Business School.

Dr Jason Ferdinand, head of the cyber security management research group at the UK’s Coventry Business School, which launched last year an MBA in cyber security, said that for too long, cyber security has been seen as a technological and legal issue.

Yet, “knowledge of cyber security is fundamentally important for successful management and leadership”, he said.

The news of TalkTalk’s hack came as Accenture published research showing 50% of the world’s 109 biggest banks have no board members with technology experience, despite cyber crime “becoming a hot topic”, said Marie Kratz, director of the risk research centre at ESSEC Business School.

Financial firms have been some of the most high-profile victims:  both the insurer Anthem and JPMorgan Chase have suffered large-scale breaches.

Experts say there is a lack of understanding among business managers about the need and importance of cyber security. “Rapidly evolving cyber security problems are complex in nature,” said Amjad Ali, cyber security advisor at University of Maryland, which offers a business-related master’s program in cyber security.

Other business schools have developed courses around cyber security, although they remain sparse. In the US, GW School of Business runs a specialized World Executive MBA with a cybersecurity specialization, and Fox School of Business teaches a master in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber Security.

Yet cyber security is relevant to all business students, said J.P Auffret, director of the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems at George Mason University. “There’s a shortage of skilled professionals in the field,” he said.

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School




On Campus

The best intercultural university

There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st




On Campus

Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.




On Campus

Top business school in France

Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career




On Campus

Great college

The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.





Good school in France

I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.




The program curriculum

BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.




International Course

This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus




Friends, Career opportunities.

The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.




Practical and useful

I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.




On Campus

Amazing experience! Must try

I think its a very amazing school with great and experienced faculty. Also the alumni network is very solid and useful. The school has a great balance of studies and work experience which is really essential for a student.