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With dozens of online criminal justice degree programs in the U.S., it can be hard to know which ones are the most credible. Credibility is particularly important when choosing a master’s degree program in highly technical fields like cyber security or crime science. Naturally, you’ll consider factors such as accreditation, courses offered and instructor experience. But there’s another credential that can tell you a lot about an institution’s depth of expertise and authority on certain topics: participation in national and international conferences and forums.

Here’s a prime example. The Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE) is part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries. Every year, the CJOS COE conducts a roundtable of nations, law enforcement agencies, nongovernmental organizations and others to share best practices, exchange information and improve protocols to improve maritime security and maritime situational awareness. In 2020, Professor Scott Blough, Chief Information Security Officer and Executive Director of the Center for Cyber Defense & Forensics at Tiffin University, was one of only three academics in the world invited to speak at this prestigious conference.

Professor Blough’s presentation was called Cyber Security in the Maritime Domain. It focused on the importance of understanding one’s cyber operating picture and knowing what systems can impact operations; then understanding adversaries’ cyber operating pictures, what systems they have and how those affect one’s operations. He detailed the maritime transportation system and their cyber components, cited examples of major cyber-attacks on each area and showed how low-cost technology can be a great power equalizer, giving cyber criminals easy entry points with a low chance of retaliation.

The CJOS COE conference is just one instance of Tiffin University’s involvement in and impact on the cyber security field. Professor Blough also works with the Arctic Domain Awareness Center, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies; conducts cyber security workshops for education, business and nonprofit organizations; and regularly speaks and writes on international cyber security topics. As a TU instructor, he provides invaluable, real-world experience and knowledge to students who want to excel in criminal justice and make a positive impact on the world.

Choosing an online criminal justice master’s degree program doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about credibility, which is easy to find at TU.

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