We live in an increasingly online world. From super-efficient e-commerce shopping solutions, to mobile banking and applications for all types of social communication, our society has become more faceless with face time.
As much of our modern life takes place online, the protection of personal and corporate data is crucial. The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is at the forefront of an important new study field to secure our data and protect our way of life.
There is a critical shortage of skilled cyber security professionals with estimates that 18,000 new employees will be needed in this field by 2026.
USQ Computer Discipline Coordinator and Computing Lecturer Angela Howard said that “To fulfil this demand, we are offering a Master of Cyber Security to produce graduates equipped to protect the data we hold so dear”.
“Careers once only ever imagined are now a reality.”
“Graduates may choose to work in ethical hacking or computer forensics, or become IT security consultants, software developers or cryptographers,” she said.
Talent to deliver top-notch cyber security
USQ is equipped for this boom with a cohort of expert academic staff, rich with cyber security industry and research experience.
For the past decade, USQ Senior Lecturer (Computing), Dr Zhongwei Zhang, has been actively conducting research in cyber security while teaching USQ’s courses.
“I have integrated my research findings into my course teaching so that students are able apply this knowledge to solve real world problems,” said Dr Zhongwei Zhang.
The development of concepts for cyber security architecture, led by Associate Professor Ron Addie, is also a key element of USQ’s master program.
“Cyber security architecture involves identifying essential security conditions for the sustainability of an organisation or business, finding how to ensure these conditions, and then rigorously proving that the conditions enforced assure that security objectives are met,” said Associate Professor Ron Addie.
“Graduates trained in cyber security architecture understand how to identify the key security requirements of an organisation and how to ensure they are upheld – the very key to assuring our personal and corporate data protection.”
Real-time research rigour
USQ is an intensive regional research institution and explores projects that make a difference to the community, nation and the world. In 2018, USQ received Excellence in Research Australia rankings, with 18 of its research areas listed as ‘well above world standard’ and 12 listed as ‘at or above world standard’.
Research into cyber security for the development of practical solutions is a priority for USQ.
Australian finance expert Taha Khan is a PhD student, supported by USQ, working to develop innovative techniques to identify patterns of money laundering for greater financial security.
“My PhD involves developing innovative algorithms by simulating data models so that financial security can be assured,” says Mr Khan.
USQ PhD researcher Boopatahi Loganathan is also working on a project to assure the security of health data stored on private cloud storage networks.
“My PhD is a comprehensive analysis of how end-users interact with medical practitioners, how the data is transferred between various entities that care for a patient, and how the security and integrity of data can be assured when the data storage is beyond organisational systems.”
USQ’s Information Systems discipline is also actively involved in the Master of Cyber Security, specifically leading teaching of the development of business solutions to cater to industry security demands.
Program Coordinator of Information Systems, Professor Raj Gururajan, said it was a great time to embark on a dynamic and global career in cyber security.
“The more we use and rely on technology, the more crucial it is for governments, businesses and individuals to protect themselves against rising cyber security risks,” said Professor Gururajan.
Professor Gururajan said students gain experience investigating and solving real-life cyber security challenges and the chance to pursue a capstone project in collaboration with an industry partner.
Protect today’s modern way of life and study with USQ in Australia. USQ’s Master of Cyber Security is available on-campus at USQ Toowoomba and USQ Springfield and is a 16 unit program studied over two years, or part-time equivalent.
Find out more today.