If you are at all interested in the Internet, cyber security and protecting yourself online, then you will have followed with avid interest the recent hacking story on the Sony Playstation network. Sony is not alone. Many large-scale corporations have fallen victim to criminal, malicious hackers and those claiming to be from a protest group. Hacking is also present in ‘industrial espionage’ but corporations keep these stories out of the limelight.
Savvy corporations have faced up to the reality of the need to have in-house, or outsourced, experts on their books to maintain and test their networks and systems for potential vulnerabilities. This is the world of the ‘ethical hacker’. There are lots of career opportunities although the job titles can vary: Penetration Tester; Security Analyst; Secure Programmer; Incident Handler; Network Defence Architect and Disaster Recovery Specialist. These jobs have skills in common including, the ability to work to deadlines – and some more specialised skills in crisis management and the ability to ‘see the big picture’.
Hacking is currently VERY close to my heart……as an information systems specialist I consider myself a decent expert in cyber security: strong anti-virus on all devices; wary of connecting to wi-fi networks; always on the lookout on web site searches for XSS (cross site scripting) – Sony had this problem; regular use of log erasers and sound cookie management. Still, I nearly got hacked working in India this week for my University! Fortunately my anti-virus shut down my hard drive before any damage could be done so my laptop will be admitted to our IT Clinic once I’m back in the UK. Had I not installed such a level of protection, some potentially useful information to a hacker may have been stolen from me. Instead, I am simply left without a working laptop for three days!
You may be asking what opportunities there are for studying this topic in the UK. Well, the University of Huddersfield is proud to be launching another addition to its suite of Master’s courses in Information Systems and Computing – Internet Security MSc. This Master’s course is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and skills for computing students and network specialists who wish to enhance their current skills with specialist skills in computer and network security. Many computing and computer science students have not been exposed to this particular subject to an advanced level. Such specialism is now demanded by both the UK Government – for MSc studies – and by industry for high-flying IT management careers.
Recent statistics from Microsoft suggest the IT industry will create c.78,000 jobs in the UK in the next four years, but research from the UK Government body, e-Skills, confirms a 50% decline in young UK residents entering IT careers in the last five years. We’d like to hear from potential applicants seeking to study Internet Security or one of our other Information Systems and Computing courses.
The University of Huddersfield is an inspiring place to learn!
Contact: Julie Wilkinson, Principal Lecturer and International Recruitment Manager
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