The threat to companies from cyber-crime is on the increase. To help combat this hazard, Deloitte, Airbus, BT and Rolls-Royce will provide their expertise to students of the newly developed cyber security MSc from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), which aims to develop holistic approaches to cyber security. The different firms supporting the programme will provide guest lectures and module expertise, as well as give students the opportunity to take up firm placements.
Cyber security breaches continue to cause UK organisations a pounding headache. Nine in ten (90%) large organisations and 74% of small organisations are affected, recent research by PwC finds. The average cost has also been increasing year on year. The cost of breaches to large organisations now range from just under £1.5 million to £3.14 million, while for small organisations the range starts at £75,200 and goes up to around £310,800. Hacks and infiltration have become common place and several large organisations have lost considerable numbers of their records on customers, including among others, the 37 million records stolen from AshleyMadison, 76 million records stolen from JP Morgan Chase, and 145 million customer records copied from eBay’s database.
Tackling the issue has risen in priority at more and more organisations and boardroom agendas are increasingly taking issue seriously, while different techniques, such as more active defence strategies are begin advised. Consulting firms have been quick to see the value in providing cyber security propositions to clients, buying up various specialised firms, launching centres and going into partnerships. Examples include IBM’s partnership with AT&T to provide mobile cloud solutions, Capgemini’s launch of a cyber-security centre in Wales, PwC’s partnership with US-based cyber security firm Tanium and Skyhigh Networks, Aon’s engagement with the EU’s Horizon 2020 initiative to tackle cyber-crime, and EY’s deal with Mycroft.
The UK government, recognising the need to protect its own networks as well as those within the community, recently announced it would double the spend on cyber security to a total of £1.9 billion over the period to 2020. One of the issues highlighted however, is that the skills side of cyber security remains an issue. Many organisations lack the skills to defend their boundaries from infringement. In a bid to increase the skills required for the development of state-of-the-art network defences, industry giants Deloitte, Airbus Group, BT and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to provide their expertise to students of a newly developed Cyber Security MSc from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Cyber Security MSc
The new MSc programme will provide students with a holistic approach to cyber security, including cyber security, software engineering, digital forensics and management. The programme will be run at the University’s Cyber Security and Software Technology Research Laboratories, equipped with high-tech, specially customised PCs and control system equipment. The aim will be to provide students will the understanding required to protect all aspect of the cyber domain, “from protecting the computers that control our buildings to the infrastructure that controls our power stations and water supplies.”
The support provided by the firms includes giving guest lecture and helping to deliver modules. Given the rapidly changing security environment, staff from the various firms will also meet with the staff of the Cyber Security Centre at DMU to keep the curriculum up to date and students one step ahead of cyber criminals. Students may also be provided with the opportunity to take up placements at the firms involved.
Helge Janicke, Head of the Cyber Security Centre at DMU, says: “The importance of evolving security techniques and skills is ever more vital in today’s interconnected world. Cyber security is a booming industry with a huge demand for our highly trained graduates. At DMU have produced what we believe to be the best cyber security MSc course available anywhere. It has been designed and is being delivered in conjunction with some of the biggest firms in the world.” He adds that, “Their expertise and on-going support will give students an unmatched grounding in the latest techniques and skills needed, while also giving them a complete social, ethical and legal knowledge context, positioning them as ideal candidates to begin successful careers in a growing industry.”