University launches degree to train future cybersecurity combatants

Scottish Edinburgh Napier University is launching a new course aimed at bridging the skills gap in modern security threats.

Edinburgh Napier University, based in Scotland, has created a new MSc program in Advanced Security and Cybercrime -- the latest in a growing number of courses aimed at defending companies and organisations against the serious threat of online crime.

The part-time, 18-month course is aimed at working professionals already involved in the computing security industry. According to the course summary, it consists of improving skills "including network security, operating system security, cloud security, security auditing, security standards, digital forensics, network forensics, and the application of skills to real-world problems and environments".

Phishing scams, financial and identify theft, viruses and network breaches will all be covered in the MSc. The university chose to offer the course part-time so students can continue working -- and keeping their skills sharp in the security industry as they study.

Other areas of study include security auditing, digital forensics, network forensics and cloud security.

Professor Bill Buchannan, director of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Distributed Computing and Security, said:

"Computer hacking and other IT security breaches cost the UK economy millions of pounds every year. There is a major skills shortage among IT professionals to deal with the rapidly evolving threat. There’s an unprecedented opportunity for those already working in IT or with a background in telecoms to retrain to become 'cyber professionals'."

The UK government has rated cyber security as a "tier one national security priority", and firms have been urged to train IT staff properly to combat security breaches. The issue is enough of a concern that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is making grants available -- so universities can apply to fund courses aimed at training future cybersecurity combatants.

The course is due to begin in September and will also offer new intake places in January and May.


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