Infosec master's degree aims to close cybersecurity skills gap

IBM and University of Warwick teach the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

The University of Warwick has devoted a module of its cybersecurity master's degree to teach students about key infosec enterprise issues affecting CISOs today.

IBM helped develop the module to try to combat the skills shortage of professionals with specialised cyber skills, saying this was one of the biggest problems facing organisations looking to defend their core business systems against cyber attacks.

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The WMG Cyber Security Centre team at Warwick and IBM are addressing this skills gap by building a business-focused postgraduate module in Enterprise Cyber Security. The fully assessed module began in May 2016 and is part of the University of Warwick's MSc in Cyber Security and Management.

The course is available to study part-time, in order to attract business professionals who want to have the option to study alongside their work. Students will be based at the WMG Cyber Security Centre's specialist cybersecurity and forensics laboratory.

The module is designed to encourage students to look at cybersecurity from both a technical and wider organisational perspective.

Students will be able to undertake key enterprise security functions, such as articulate cybersecurity imperatives to key decision makers, critically evaluate the cybersecurity posture of an organisation, analyse an organisation's identity and access management policies, and critically analyse the cybersecurity consequences of the increasing connectedness of end-point devices and systems.

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The module is delivered in a one-week block of directed tuition around real use cases that examine cybersecurity within the context of areas such as cloud and analytics. The lectures are delivered by IBM security professionals, who provide insight from their own business experience of working with clients.

"Our approach to cyber security education is a multi-disciplinary one, combining academics, government and industry experts who bring together both the technical and behavioural aspects needed for transformative cybersecurity," stated Professor Tim Watson, director of the WMG Cyber Security Centre.

Mark Buckwell, consulting and systems integration practice leader at IBM UK and Ireland, led the definition and development of the course content for this brand new module. "The Enterprise Cyber Security module was created to give students the opportunity to engage in architectural thinking in the design of enterprise IT security. By understanding how security is designed into core business practice, participants now have a vital kit bag of practical tools and techniques to apply in the workplace," he said.

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