Posted on May 19, 2014

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar recently held an Executive Education course targeting local information technology professionals and web developers to better understand challenges in securing web applications within their organizations.

Attended by 47 executives, the workshop benefited Qatari organizations that Carnegie Mellon Qatar has built strategic partnerships with, including Qatar Foundation, Council of Ministry, Qatar Ministry of Interior, Lakhwiya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Central Bank, RasGas, Qatar Airways, Ooredoo, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Al Jazeera Media Network, Al Faisal Holding and Ezdan Holding.

Held at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s campus, the course featured lectures by Thierry Sans, assistant teaching professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. As part of the university’s commitment to research into areas of national priority, Sans is creating new programming languages that will make future applications more secure. “Internet penetration is higher in Qatar than anywhere else in the world. The more people who use the Internet, the more threats you are going to have,” Sans said.

“In order to address this higher risk, Qatar is investing heavily in research, for example Carnegie Mellon Qatar is collaborating with Qatar Computing Research Institute and setting up a committee to develop innovative solutions to better secure Qatar’s technological infrastructure,” Sans added.

In line with national needs, the emerging web security industry is creating a demand for skilled information technology professionals with experience in computer science. Following security breaches in 2013, cybersecurity is high on the agenda for Qatar; in February a cybercrime law received cabinet approval. Sans said: “Computer science graduates are in high demand in Qatar to help secure local web applications and Carnegie Mellon Qatar computer science graduates are equipped to help combat the growing need for specialists in the field.”

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The Executive Education workshops are part of a series of executive and professional education courses offered by Carnegie Mellon Qatar to engage professionals who want to improve skills that are critical to good management, and equip organizations and their leadership with the tools needed for success. Other recent courses include Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, which was held in March 2014 led by Ben Collier, assistant professor of business administration, and David Emmanuel Gray, assistant teaching professor of philosophy. The series concluded with a course on Quality: Innovation, Service and Leadership led by Sham Kekre distinguished career professor, production and operations management.

Carnegie Mellon Qatar also held an Executive Education course in February 2014 focusing on e-business strategies. The course was led by Tridas Mukhopadhyay, distinguished career professor in business administration and Deloitte consulting professor of e-business. More than 207 professionals from key Qatari organizations have attended the workshops this spring.

Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, said the range of courses reflect the university’s commitment to national capacity building in line with Qatar’s National Development Strategy 2011-2016 and Qatar National Vision 2030. “We are very pleased to offer these courses to organizations that the university has built strategic partnerships with. These courses equip professionals with the concepts and tools they need to ensure the future success of their organizations,” Baybars said.