The American International University—Bangladesh (AIUB) was founded in 1994. Its students follow information technology curriculum that specifically addresses challenges with changing technological advancements. Working toward enhanced security for its IT infrastructure, AIUB joined the Microsoft® Security Cooperation Program for Education, a collaboration resulting in reduced security issues, rapid response times, and improved community outreach.
Founded in 1994, the American International University—Bangladesh (AIUB) is a private university with more than 7,000 students. It is part of the Microsoft® IT Academy program, a program that enables faculty and students at learning institutions to acquire new technology skills in an academic setting.
||The collaboration with Microsoft is invaluable. It is key to helping us protect the investment we’ve made to run a state-of-the-art facility.
||Dr. Carmen Zita Lamagna
Vice Chancellor, American International University–Bangladesh
The university is committed to providing the highest-quality, computer-based academic programs that address emerging challenges with today’s rapidly changing technological advancements. To meet that commitment, it offers a learning environment with the most up-to-date facilities and tools.
The last decade in The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has been one marked with significant growth in the technology industry. The information and communication technology sector is rapidly developing, and software development in the country is on the rise. With the increase in software use, users in both the public and the private sector are becoming more aware of IT security risks.
A pioneer in computer-based education in Bangladesh, AIUB needed to increase users’ awareness of various computer threats. In addition to educating students about IT security through its curriculum, the university wanted a solution that would enable it to educate other public sector employees, as well as the general public, to further promote technology in the emerging market. Also, AIUB wanted to protect its own IT infrastructure from malware and other threats.
AIUB joined the Microsoft Security Cooperation Program for Education (SCPe), part of the Microsoft Security Response Alliance (MSRA), in May 2007 to help manage IT security concerns. The SCPe provides Microsoft and higher-education institutions a structured framework that encourages collaboration on topics including security analysis and response, attack mitigation, and student and faculty outreach. It enables Microsoft and SCPe participants to exchange security information, helping them reach a mutual goal—decreasing the risk of security threats and enabling rapid response when they do occur.
As part of the cooperative communication efforts of the program, AIUB receives a regular newsletter and security bulletins directly from Microsoft and does not have to rely on traditional channels, such as newswires, but rather gets timely information on security threats. Through these communication efforts, AIUB employees are able to build their knowledge of general security best practices, get troubleshooting and deployment guidance, and learn up-to-date information about security alerts, malware, and denial of service attacks. A mutually beneficial effort, AIUB employees use the knowledge to not only protect university systems, but also to report vulnerabilities through the SCPe.
In addition, AIUB has access to an around-the-clock hotline that is staffed with experts from the Microsoft security resonse team who can help in the event of a critical security event.
AIUB also incorporates the knowledge it has acquired from participating in the SCPe into its curriculum. “The SCPe provides us a wealth of knowledge on modern security threats that we can add to our curriculum to support students’ educational goals,” explains Dr. Carmen Zita Lamagna, Vice Chancellor at the American International University—Bangladesh. The university takes
||It is great to know that we have 24-hour access to Microsoft if we ever need it.
||Dr. Carmen Zita Lamagna
Vice Chancellor, American International University–Bangladesh
advantage of SCPe information to improve its curriculum in undergraduate courses, including Internet Security, Electronic Commerce and Cyber Laws, and Advanced Database Management Systems. It incorporates SCPe information into graduate courses, as well: Advanced Operating Systems, Cryptographic Techniques and Data Security, and Network Security and Management.
In addition to educating employees and students, the university extends its training to industry professionals and public sector employees to help further promote IT security awareness. With help from the SCPe, AIUB trains software developers and server administrators to develop stable software and enforce and maintain IT security. For government officials and law enforcement agencies, AIUB offers training programs that focus on Internet and data security—enabling the public sector to minimize, and better respond to, computer security incidents.
The university also holds annual technology seminars and software exhibitions, which have increased public interest in the technology industry. Students from various universities present their original, innovative software in a public forum. By developing real-world software for these events, students gain hands-on experience in developing secure software.
AIUB feels that its relationship with Microsoft SCPe is a critical component to helping it enhance the security of its IT infrastructure through collaboration and information sharing. The university now mitigates threats before they happen and more quickly responds to security issues. Plus, its outreach programs help raise awareness throughout the country.
Improved Information Sharing Supports Infrastructure Security
As a result of participating in the SCPe, AIUB receives timely, up-to-date notifications of known vulnerabilities, critical security updates, and key security metrics directly from Microsoft. Through security bulletins, newsletters, and regular briefings with experts from Microsoft, the university helps protect its laboratories, server systems, and client computing environment by deploying security updates and security-enhanced software as needed.
AIUB also shares information with Microsoft through SCPe, regularly reporting any viruses ormalware it discovers. “The collaboration with Microsoft is invaluable,” says Lamagna. “It is key to helping us protect the investment we’ve made to run a state-of-the-art facility.”
Reduced Security Issues Through Improved Incident Response
Equipped with the knowledge provided by SCPe, AIUB can identify potential threats to its IT infrastructure and resolve them before a critical security breach. For example, employees identified a cross-site scripting and denial of service attack on a server at the AIUB Continuing Education Center. “By identifying the problem early using best practices from SCPe, we thwarted the issue before it breached the network infrastructure,” says Mir Rezoan Ul Huda, Senior System Administrator at American International University—Bangladesh.
The university also has around-the-clock access to experts from Microsoft in the event of a critical IT emergency—helping ensure rapid incident response. “It is great to know that we have 24-hour access to Microsoft if we ever need it,” explains Lamagna.
Outreach Improves Community Awareness of Security Risks
In cooperation with SCPe at Microsoft, AIUB promotes awareness and a more proactive approach to IT security through outreach programs for both the public and private sectors. The university has provided training on the latest IT and Internet security issues and technologies to more than 1,000 IT professionals and more than 800 government officials and law enforement personnel. AIUB also regularly hosts seminars and competitions where students can demonstrate security-enhanced software development projects to the public. By broadening community knowledge, the university fulfills its goal to increase IT security awareness throughout the country.
The university plans to continue its relationship with Microsoft and host more cooperative outreach and educational activities, including collaboration on processes for computer incident response. “The people who attend are those who will potentially join the growing information and communication technology sector in Bangladesh,” concludes Lamagna. “Without a doubt, we know that the knowledge gained from working with SCPe will be invaluable.”
For More Information
For general questions about the Security Cooperation Program, please e-mail: mailto:SCP%20Team@microsoft.com or visit: www.microsoft.com/industry/publicsector/government/programs/SCP.mspx