- Assistant Professor of the Practice, College of Business
- Michael.Wills@erau.edu Email
- Department of Management and Technology
- College of Business
Areas of Expertise
Mike brings decades of IT-intensive intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial experiences and insights to his teaching, writing, research and consulting in the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide.
His experiences with highly secure, auditable systems started in the US Air Force, where for many years he helped design, build, and operate national security space mission systems. As national and international security imperatives called for greater insight into the activities of non-nation-state threat actors and risks, Mike’s roles and experiences evolved to include greater focus on countering financial crime, money laundering, and terrorist financing activities.
He has taught and developed graduate and undergraduate courses and programs in information security and assurance, management information systems, and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and international crime and justice for not only two US universities but also the senior military leadership colleges of the US and the UK. He has also served as an accreditor and reviewer for similar programs across NATO senior leadership schools. Mike has also been an advisor on science and technology policy to the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee, Ministry of Justice, and Defence Science and Technology Laboratories, helping them to evolve an operational and policy consensus relating topics from cryptography and virtual worlds, through the burgeoning surveillance society, to the proliferation of weapons of mass disruption (not just “destruction”) affected global, regional, national, and personal security. For a time, this had him sometimes known as the UK’s nonresident expert on outer space law.
Mike has been actively supporting the work of (ISC)2 by writing, editing, and updating books, study guides, and course materials for both their Systems Security Certified Professional (SSCP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) programs. He wrote the SSCP Official Study Guide 2nd Edition in 2019, followed quickly by the SSCP Official Common Book of Knowledge 5th Edition. He was lead author for the CISSP 2021 update of (ISC)2’s official training materials, working with a team of six subject matter experts and the Consortium’s instructional designers to bring some instructors have called a transformational, refreshed perspective to this teaching and learning experience. He’s also the technical editor for the CISSP Official Common Book of Knowledge Reference, 6th Edition, slated to publish in summer 2021.
Mike has also contributed to several industry roundtables and white papers on digital identity and cyber fraud detection and prevention, and has been a panelist and webinar presenter on these and related topics for ACAMS.
Mike has a Master of Science in Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with a minor in Electrical Engineering, both from Illinois Institute of Technology; and a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from King’s College, London. He is a graduate of the Federal Chief Information Officer program at National Defense University and the Program Manager’s Course at Defense Systems Management College. He’s been a start-up business owner, consultant to small businesses, and as a long-time hactivist, he works with informal teams applying blockchain technologies and sovereign identity mechanisms as part of efforts around the world to respond to Covid-19.
- M.S. - Master of Science in Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
- M.A. - Master of Arts in Defense Studies, King's College London
- B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
Ratings and Certificates
- MMIS 320: Business Information Systems
- MGMT 393: Computer Networks
- MGMT 394: Information Security Managemen
- MGMT 402: Legal Issues in Info Security
- MGMT 388: Sys Forensics,Investg&Response
CSCI 109, Introduction to Computers and Applications
HIST 130, History of Aviation in America
MGMT 201, Principles of Management
MGMT 221, Introduction to Management Information Systems
MGMT 385, Programming Concepts
MGMT 387, Managing Risk in Information Systems
MGMT 388, Systems Forensics, Investigation and Response
MGMT 389, Information Assurance and Information Quality
MGMT 392, Database Management
MGMT 393, Computer Networks
MGMT 394, Information Security Management
MGMT 401, Information Security Practices
MGMT 404, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
MISA 501, Assured Business Systems
MISA 502, Risk Management and Business Continuity
MISA 503: Informatics: Security Implications of Cross-Disciplinary Computing
MISA 504: Enterprise Systems Architectures for Information Assurance
MISA 505: Incident Management and Information Forensics
MISA 506: Cyber Law, Cyber Crime and Information Assurance
MISA 507, Quality Management for Information Assurance
MISA 523, Information Advantage: Countering Self-Deception and External Deceptions
MISA 531, Secure Information Systems Design
MMIS 501, Business Systems: Managing the IS Enterprise
MMIS 503, Data and Information Modeling
MMIS 504, Knowledge Management: Quality Management for the IS Enterprise
SCTY 312, Global Crime and Criminal Justice
SCTY 315, Studies in Intelligence I
SCTY 385, Intelligence Collection & Analysis
SCTY 415, Studies in Intelligence II
SCTY 485, Corporate Security
SCTY 488, National Security Issues and Terrorism
- Research and update SSCP Study Guide to 3d Edition
- Cyber hygiene and cyber insurance current practice research
- Update content and teaching design, CISSP Official Training Course, to meet 2021 best security practices
- Research, Curate, Update content and teaching design, SSCP Official Training Course, to meet 2021 best security practices
- Expeditionary Blended Learning: New Opportunities and Lessons From the United Kingdom Bollinger-Rosado Teaching & Learning Effectiveness Symposium Proceedings (2016)
- Expeditionary Blended Learning: New Opportunities and Lessons From the United Kingdom Ian McAndrew (2006)
- Book Review: Considering Why We've Already Been There Publications (1)
- Cyber Insurance Effects on Cyber Hygiene: Does the Homeostatic Effect Apply? Publications (1)
Wills, Michael S. (2021). The (ISC)2 SSCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner Official Study Guide, 3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons / Sybex. ISBN 9781119874867
Wills, Michael S. (2021). The Official (ISC)2 SSCP CBK Reference, 6e. Wiley / Sybex. ISBN 9781119854982
Wills, Michael S. (Technical reviewer); Dean, Arthur, & Krause, Aaron. (2021) The Official (ISC)2 CISSP CBK Reference, 6th Edition. Wiley/Sybex, 978-1-119-789999-4.
Wills, Mike (2019). The (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner Official Study Guide. ISBN 978-1119542940. Wiley / Sybex.
Wills, Mike (2019). The (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner Common Book of Knowledge Reference, 5th Edition. ISBN 978-1119601944. Wiley / Sybex. To be published Oct 2019
Wills, Michael S. (1978). “Toward a Behavioral Model for Multiple-Valued Logic Flip-Flops,” Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Multiple Valued Logic, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society, Chicago, IL.
“Assertive / Aggressive Space Exploitation Scenario: Possible Challenges to the Legal Domain,” 15 March 2010, white paper commissioned by the UK Ministry of Justice. One result of my participation in the “Legal Landscape and National Security” workshop, February 2010, was that I was asked to prepare and present this white paper to an ad-hoc panel of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee. This select panel examined a number of “wild points” in the near-term scenario space, all with an eye to looking for circumstances and ideals that could bend international law to and beyond the breaking point.
“Myths, Demons and the Commanders Estimate,” Cormorant, The Research Journal of the Defence Academy, Frank Cass & Sons, London; awaiting publication
“But This Star Wars Had Such Promise: a review of The Phantom Defense,” Cormorant, The Research Journal of the Defence Academy, Frank Cass & Sons, London; awaiting publication
“Space Power Theory and Practice: An Introduction for 21st Century Coalitions of the Willing,” March 2004, course reader, Joint Services Command and Staff College (fifth printing), Watchfield, UK
July 2005 - Present: Applied Information and Innovative Technologies faculty member, ERAU Worldwide Campus, currently with College of Business, Management & Technology Department, with primary teaching in MIS, Information Security, IT, and information risk management, Some highlights include:
March 2020 - July 2020: Mentor and Coach, “Disruptive Supply Chain Logistics using Blockchain Technology” team (2nd Place Award winning team), Stop Covid-19 Hackathon. This hackathon, sponsored by Consensys Health and refereed by officials from several US agencies, the UN Office for Sustainable Development, brought leading immunologists, pharmaceuticals, and public health policy experts together with over 1,600 hackathon participants, all looking at going from brainstorming to rapidly deployable innovative ways to solve pandemic-related problems. This team prototyped and deployed Ethereum-based smart contracts for managing volunteer efforts to produce and deploy personal protective equipment in underserved areas of Athens, Greece, including refugee camps supporting dislocated persons from Syria. This included working with team members, Consensys, and others to identify ways to scale and deploy their basic design concepts, including ways to structure nontraditional business and organizational models to make that possible and sustainable.
March 2015 – June 2020: Academic Program Chair, Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) and Applied Information Technologies (AIT) Programs, College of Business. Champion for, lead and carry out strategic, operational and tactical change across all levels of University activity by providing the planning, guidance, leadership and vision necessary to bring the Microsoft-ERAU-(ISC)2 partnership into being, and thus deliver its promise of teaching and learning to our students at US military bases in the US and to our students world-wide. This three-track set of programs brings Microsoft’s world-class software and systems technical training courseware and (ISC)2’s secure systems professional certification courses into ERAU-WW’s Associate and Bachelor of Science in Technology Management degree programs. Both programs have required extensive, daily coordination across all aspects of University activities, from marketing and strategic communication through business development and to academics and campus operations.
November 2013 – March 2015: Assistant Program Chair, Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance degree; and Acting Assistant Program Chair, Master of Science in Management of Information Systems, College of Business. Assisted with all aspects of program definition, proposal preparation and curriculum planning for these two new Master of Science degree programs. Coordinated course guide and master textbook list development, review and approval, and mentored faculty course developers in producing course content. Provide overall academic quality guidance and review, and built the framework for overall program academic quality assessment. Throughout, and continuing to this day, I developed, redeveloped or refreshed individual courses and specializations, while also teaching in both programs.
Sep 2012 – Oct 2013:Lead developer, Information Security / Management Information Systems undergraduate majors, In conjunction with the Department Chair, I led the redefinition and alignment of all of the information security and information systems courses in these two majors, both within our Bachelor of Science in Technical Management (BSTM) degree program. From fine-tuning of already-developed courses through rethinking the learning outcomes of courses about to be developed, this brought both majors into harmony with each other, with leading-edge thinking across the IT industry, and provided better support for the overall BSTM degree program itself. Innovative course design approaches, including the first-time use of software labs for College of Business courses, provided a stronger STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) core throughout each major.
July 2005 – present: Instructor, Worldwide / European Division. Developed, maintained, and taught face to face and online courses in national security and intelligence, history, and many aspects of information systems and technologies. Conducted academic research on teaching excellence, global and regional security, intelligence, spaceflight, and space power politics. Duties also included 18 months as Center Faculty Chair / Director of Academics, RAF Lakenheath / Mildenhall campus, UK, for which I recruited, contracted for, trained and mentored teaching faculty, coordinated in program and course scheduling for four locations across Europe, and taught courses at six locations across Europe.
Apr 2009 – Feb 2014: Consultant, Cabinet Office, United Kingdom. Provided insight and guidance concerning possible implications of advancing science and technology to both national and personal security, critical infrastructures development and protection, and overall science and technology policy. Provided critical insight and commentary on various aspects of Outer Space Law, Law of Armed Conflict, and the efficacy of international law and justice institutions and frameworks to achieve national, regional and global objectives. Advised multiple clients within Joint Intelligence Committee, Ministry of Justice, and Government Office of Science and Innovation.
Oct 2004 – 2013: Associate Professor, University of Maryland University College, European Division. Developed and taught face to face and online graduate and undergraduate courses in homeland security, information systems, computer science, mathematics, government, history, ethics, and business management. Developed on-site computer security lab network for students to safely hack and defend systems.
July 1977 – July 2005: Commissioned Officer, United States Air Force. Served in a variety of roles and missions, including:
- National Security space missions systems design, development, launch and on-orbit operations, with emphasis on highly secure space-to-ground command & control functions, software systems development and support, databases and data structures, and protocols
- Satellite mission ground station design, development, activation and maintenance
- Secure software development and data base systems development manager
- Specialized software and mission systems support activities
- Joint Staff Legislative Liaison / Action Officer, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Systems
- Wargame design and game control specialist, C4I, space warfare, information warfare, and psychological warfare, across Service schools in the US and UK, at Headquarters USAF level games, and at NATO headquarters readiness evaluations
- Instructor at US National Defense University, and at the UK’s Defence Academy, delivering courses in systems acquisition management, information warfare, global and regional security, and strategic / operational intelligence. Both of these programs provided students the opportunity to earn accredited graduate degrees as a part of their studies.
- Inspector General, serving the readiness and personnel issues of a joint Navy/Air Force installation providing combat air patrol and air rescue service for the North Atlantic
In many of my Air Force assignments, I was directly responsible for the safe and effective design, development and operational use of multi-billion-dollar systems of the highest national importance. These ranged from critical mission support to the first Space Shuttle flight, through directing ground control operations for on-orbit satellite fleets, and to the programming, budgeting, and Congressional and inter-agency coordination necessary to keep these vital national security assets operational.
Memberships and Credentials
ACAMS, Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
(ISC)2, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
(ISC)2, System Certified Information Security Professional (SSCP)
ISACA, Dublin, Ireland Chapter
Awards, Honors and Recognitions
Blackboard’s Catalyst Award for an Exemplary Course, awarded 8 May 2014, for design of ERAU Worldwide’s MGMT 393, Computer Networks course.