USP introduces Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity breaches are a growing concern, hence The University of the South Pacific (USP) is introducing the Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity which will be offered from Semester 2, 2017.

Offered through the University’s School of Computing, Information and Mathematical Sciences (SCIMS), the Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity will provide managers and practitioners, the skills they need to protect their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and investments.

Students undertaking this programme will be able to apply information assurance principles to cyberattacks, understand the critical risks related to cybercrime, develop pragmatic cyber-defence solutions and govern today’s ICT systems by putting appropriate cybersecurity protections in place.

The programme will cover four courses of which the first course covers Cybersecurity Principles and sets the foundation for the Cybercrime, Cyber-Defense and Network Security courses that follow.

The Postgraduate Programme was developed and will be delivered by cybersecurity expert and Head of SCIMS, Professor Peter Croll, who is an Australian Certified Professional.

According to Professor Croll, quality education that supports practical cybersecurity knowledge is becoming very essential and represents a valuable long-term investment.

The growing number of new online business services across the region will need the support and trust of an Internet that is both dependable and safe.

“Nobody is immune, either from data breaches or denial of service attacks which can result in serious negative impacts for our industry and government bodies,” Professor Croll said.

He added that good security management of ICT systems significantly reduces the risks from such attacks.

“Details are sketchy in the Pacific Islands as currently there are few Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) available to record and act on cyber-attacks. Therefore, this programme will help supply the necessary expertise to support effective cybersecurity responses,” Professor Croll highlighted.

He also mentioned that the need for this and other necessary cyber-protections was highlighted by the CROP ICT Working Group last year.

Professor Croll acknowledged the support from USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra and Dean of Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, Associate Professor Anjeela Jokhan in getting the new programme instituted during the 84th Council Meeting in the Republic of Marshall Islands.

He also expressed his appreciation to the School’s Industry Advisory Group that has given strong positive support to this programme and made a number of practical recommendations that the School has adopted.

Associate Professor Jokhan said that the new programme builds upon the School’s current successful internationally accredited programmes in ICT that ensure that graduates are job-ready for today’s connected world.

“This new programme is both highly pertinent and timely. It will ensure that USP continues to provide leadership and relevance with its excellent teaching and research initiatives,” Associate Professor Jokhan said.

The programme will be offered in Blended mode, and will run from USP’s Laucala Campus and include the use of a dedicated Cybersecurity Laboratory in the well-resourced Japan- Pacific ICT Centre.

The first cohort will complete this programme in June 2018.

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