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BYU Marriott School faculty, alumnus win Thurston Auditing Award

A Marriott School of Management alumnus and three faculty members will receive the John B. Thurston Award at the Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference July 8-11 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, for their article about how to protect wireless networks from hackers.

The award is given annually for the best article appearing in Internal Auditor, published by the Institute of Internal Auditors, a leading authority on international auditing.

Marriott School alumnus Bryce Peterson was the lead author of this year’s winning article, “How Secure is Your Wireless Network?” It was published in February 2006. The piece outlines six simple steps to help people secure their personal and business network connections. Peterson completed his master of information systems management degree at Brigham Young University in 2003.

William G. Heninger, assistant professor of accounting and the article’s faculty sponsor, said, “We wrote the article to help people understand how exposed their wireless networks are. Some people just set up a network server and go on their way, and they don’t realize that they’ve exposed their system to hackers. It’s like an open door. Anybody could just walk by and access their data.”

The idea for the article came to Peterson when he was a graduate assistant for Heninger conducting research on wireless network security for a curriculum development project. He pitched a few ideas to Heninger and they went to work on several articles.

“Bill has been a great mentor to me, and he sponsored the articles project as part of his research initiatives at BYU,” Peterson said. “He has the unique combination of experience in both accounting and information technology and was integral in helping to develop the articles for readers with varied experiences and backgrounds.”

Heninger later recruited Marshall B. Romney, chair of the Information Systems Department, and Craig J. Lindstrom, assistant teaching professor of information systems, to edit and fact check.

Thurston Award winners receive a bound volume of Internal Auditor in which their winning article appeared, a one-year membership to the IIA and free registration at the annual conference.

Peterson, who now works as a manager at KPMG, said he and Heninger plan to continue their collaboration on additional articles about accounting and information technology.

“Not only has this award re-emphasized the importance of teaming with great people.” Peterson said, “but, it will also enhance my credibility in the marketplace as I work with other professionals in helping clients achieve success with wireless networking.”

Writer: Arie Decker


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