Arming Cybersecurity Experts for Tomorrow and Beyond
Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has terraformed the global digital landscape and has been driving a worldwide shift to remote work, online learning as well as the rise of e-wallets, e-commerce and more. Along with this sudden digital shift, also comes heightened concerns around cybersecurity which in turn increase employer’s demand for professionals who possess the skills and knowledge to prevent attacks before they occur.
With cyber-attacks becoming more common and destructive, cybersecurity is becoming one of the fastest growing professions as the demand for skilled professionals are now even more critical and sought after.
According to Ts Lim Mei Shyan, Principal Lecturer from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College’s (TAR UC) Faculty of Computing and Information Technology (FOCS), the more digitalised processes are involved, the higher the likelihood systems will have vulnerabilities. Hence, more information security professionals are needed to work in tandem with IT practitioners to reinforce company systems, applications, equipment and devices on a regular basis as digital landscape evolves rapidly. “There has definitely been a boom in Malaysia’s digital landscape as compared to five years ago. Local industries including SMEs and SMIs have or will be undergoing more digital transformations to maintain a competitive edge to fulfil the demands from consumers.”
FOCS’ Cyber Warfare Training Lab provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, enabling them to expand their areas of expertise and make them all-rounded cybersecurity professionals.
Offered since 2013, TAR UC’s Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) in Information Security programme conducted by FOCS is designed to equip students with skills and knowledge in various areas of information technology with specialisation in information security. Apart from the fundamentals of information security which includes Internet Security, Software Security, Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing, Information Assurance and Security, students will also learn about Computer Networking, Software Development and elective courses such as Digital Forensics, Network Forensics, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Application Development, Mobile Application Development, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing, just to name a few which are offered to students, enabling them to expand their areas of expertise and make them all-rounded.
The programme structure is designed based on the Body of Knowledge of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) Computing programme standard as well as the domains of (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CompTIA Security+, CompTIA PenTest+ and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) which are the industry benchmarks for graduates from information technology and information security backgrounds. Students of TAR UC’s Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) in Information Security programme are also given the opportunity to take the CCNA or CompTIA Security+ professional certifications as the programme has prepared them to take the professional certifications prior to graduation.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector, Ts Lim shared that determination and a passion to learn and explore new technologies and skills are important attributes to have for one to pursue a career in this field.
“It is always challenging for information security professionals to protect company’s assets, data, and systems as there are too many attack vectors in the companies’ systems that can be compromised. Due to the rapid changes in technology, one would need to understand how things work and how they can be compromised, only then would we know how to protect it from potential cyber-attacks. One would also need to be resilient when faced with challenges to solve cybersecurity problems quickly to reduce the impact of the damage,” she added.
She also reemphasised the important role information security plays in the field of information technology. “Do not limit your career options only to cybersecurity professionals. Even if you are employed as a web developer or mobile app developer, it is crucial that one learns how to develop a secure website or application. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense.”
Recognised as a Premier Digital Tech Institution (PDTI) by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in 2017, 2019 and 2021, TAR UC is well-known as a top provider of digital talents in the country where many of its ICT graduates are highly sought after by the industries.
To find out more about information security or other IT programmes offered by TAR UC, log on to www.tarc.edu.my/focs.
Our October and November Intakes are currently in progress. Prospective students are encouraged to apply online at www.tarc.edu.my. Attractive scholarships are also available at TAR UC on the basis of academic merit and sibling discount for qualified students.
Ts Lim encourages prospective students who intend to enter the IT field to always be passionate about learning and exploring new technologies and skills.