Cyber warriors tackle rise in crime

With cybercrime costing Australian business an average $400,000 per event, careers in cybersecurity are a strong growth area.

“The need for cyber professionals has birthed a new employment market in our country,” says Flinders University senior computing lecturer Dr Anna Shillabeer, director of the Flinders Cisco Academy at Tonsley.

“Flinders is focused on delivering a world-class cybersecurity curriculum that exposes students to cutting-edge developments in communications technology,” she says.

In keeping, Flinders University has launched an online version of its Bachelor of IT degree in Network and Cybersecurity Systems to allow students from anywhere in Australia to forge a career in the cyber professions.

Dr Shillabeer in the Cisco Lab at Flinders at Tonsley, Clovelly Park.

Students who enrol in the degree will receive training from Cisco-accredited network engineers and have the opportunity to become industry certified when they attain their degree.

Network components of the course are taught under the auspices of the Flinders Cisco Academy, part of a major cooperative initiative with Cisco Australia, which was established to provide world-class training and education in networking and cybersecurity.

The Academy has enabled Flinders to be become a primary training provider in Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) and co-develop a range of related digital health and cyber security solutions.

The new online degree program will enable students to understand the role of networked systems in business, enterprise and social media, and design and manage their own secure network system.

“The widespread digitisation of our business and social activities has enhanced our connectivity around the globe, but also exposed us to an unprecedented level of security risk,” says Director of the Flinders Cisco Academy, Dr Anna Shillabeer.

“Australians are known for being early and vigorous adopters of the latest digital innovations, so it’s vital that as a nation we are equipped with a robust cybersecurity workforce and can protect ourselves from ever-sophisticated cyber-criminals.”

According to a 2017 report commissioned by the Australian Computer Society, (Australia’s Digital Pulse – Policy priorities to fuel Australia’s digital workforce boom, Deloitte Access Economics), the average cybercrime committed against an Australian business costs approximately $400,000.

This typically includes legal fees, the price of business disruption and reputational damage, and the loss of clientele and intellectual property.

However, the world of cybersecurity has also brought with it extraordinary opportunities for job creation and economic growth in digital innovation.

Graduates of the Flinders online degree are equipped to work in a diverse range of industries, not just the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

In fact, the Deloitte Australia’s Digital Pulse report has indicated that non-ICT industries such as education, construction, healthcare and financial services advertised more ICT positions last year than any other sector, excluding the digital sector.

This reflects the increasing number of non-traditional industries across the Australian economy that are now embracing and relying on responsive, adaptive cybersecurity systems to run their core business.

“We are living in an era in which cyber-crime has outpaced traditional crime in some countries,” Dr Shillabeer says.

“Our focus on cybersecurity not only reflects the changing world in which we live and work, but also supports the Australian Government’s 2016 Cyber Security Strategy, which is centred on building our national capabilities in cyber threat detection and response and working with businesses to address the shortage of cyber skills in Australia.”

The online Bachelor of IT (Network and Cybersecurity Systems) takes three years to complete and addresses all aspects of computer security, communications technology (including mobile platforms and cloud computing), data analytics, network engineering, enterprise systems, and social and information networks.

The closing date for semester one applications has been extended to Monday 12 February 2018 and interested students are encouraged to apply without delay.

More information is available online.

The SATAC code for the Bachelor of Information Technology (Network and Cybersecurity Systems) (Online) is 274075.

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