I am pleased to say that I am officially halfway through my Master of Science in Information Assurance program at Norwich University. I got an A in the class (of course), but I am a little perturbed by comments from my professor. I understand that I was a slacker on the first paper and probably deserved the B- that I got on that one. I know, “Walt? Got something other than an A? No way!” Well, it happened. I was shocked as well, so I busted my hump on the next few papers and made sure to maintain the A average that all my fans expect from me. The professor even surprised me and said I should try to get my papers published. He even commented on my final paper that maybe I should tie more seminar material into my papers and keep the topic “in the weeds”. Unfortunately, I cannot tie seminar material into my papers, because I am compelled to do an “industry case study”, rather than an “organizational case study”. Due to the classification of my work, I cannot discuss the details of the job, especially as it pertains to information security. This is why I use the industry case study. As an analysis of the entire industry, I have to tailor the material a larger audience. As an industry case study, I have to be careful to not compromise security across the entire Department of Defense by my security analysis. Perhaps I need to ask for permission from the professor to do security analysis of a fictional organization and try to avoid security issues. (Note: security vulnerabilities are classified SECRET.) I think I have demonstrated mastery of the topic not only in my research papers, but in my actual work that I allude to in the research papers.
One year from now, I hope to look back on my graduate school experience and say that not only did I do my part to advance my profession, but that I have helped academia understand that in the operational world of national defense some of the rules of “the game” need to be modified in order to prevent people from farming information off the Internet to use against us. Perhaps that should be the topic of my next research paper.