Cybersecurity To Be Embedded In UK Computing Degrees

Jul 06, 2015

A consortium of industry, academia and government bodies in the UK has created a set of cybersecurity learning guidelines to be embedded into IT related degrees.

The new guidelines, which will be embedded into courses accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), are being led by the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and (ISC)2, a non-profit specialising in information security education and certifications.

“This marks a significant shift in the teaching of security in higher education; cybersecurity is now being recognised as integral to every relevant computing discipline from computer game to development to network engineering,” claimed Carsten Maple, Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at Warwick University.

“Previously, cybersecurity wasted treated as a separate discipline to computing with students being taught how to create applications or develop systems and technology but now how to secure them; leading to proliferation of systems with built-in vulnerabilities.

“Academia, industry and government have all recognised this, which is why we have come together to address this issue and provide a practical and accessible way of incorporating cybersecurity into our curricula and move the discipline forward,” added Professor Maple, who is also Vice Chair of CPHC.

Bringing Education In Line With Workplace Requirements

The guidelines cover five areas: information and risk, threats and attacks, cybersecurity architecture and operations, secure systems and products and cybersecurity management.

The aim of this new initiative is to bring computing degrees into closer alignment with industry requirements.

According to CPHC, this effort could see over 20,000 graduates a year entering the UK workforce with the knowledge necessary to securely build the digital future and the IT infrastructure on which the UK economy relies.

“The UK has long been affected by both a cybersecurity talent shortage and a mismatch between the capabilities of computing graduates and the requirements of industry,” claimed            Dr Adrian Davis, CISSP, managing director for EMEA at (ISC)2.

“These compounding issues have ultimately been compromising our ability to both build and defend the digital economy and UK plc.

“We are now amongst the first nations in the world to ensure that cybersecurity will be embedded throughout every relevant computing degree and crucially, the most up-to-date skills will be taught as the framework is built and maintained with the input of front-line information and cyber security professionals.

“UK graduates entering the workforce will be able to immediately put their skills to use,” Dr Davis added.


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