With the internet standing as the backbone to modern life, it’s clear that life in the digital age certainly has its perks. Whether it’s shopping online, paying bills or sending work-based emails, we know whatever we need can be done at the simple click of a button. But with the rise of the interweb, we must now consider things that were never an issue before, with the technology revolution leaving us increasingly vulnerable to the threat of cybercrime.
It’s a known fact that consumers become more vulnerable to cyber-attack as people find new ways to access customer data, credit card information and steal money from bank accounts. But cybercrime could do a whole lot more damage on a global scale, as we’ve seen from the U.S. 2016 Presidential elections and the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking scandal. These are among the some of the world’s most high profile cyber-attacks but as each year passes, the number is bound to increase, which is why the need for cyber security education has never been more important.
Defined as the protection of systems, networks and data in cyberspace, cyber security is an important subject and a skill that most corporations and businesses are looking for in IT and computer science graduates. According to White & Case, an international law firm, most global governments and businesses are not fully equipped to deal with such attacks and are searching for better cyber defense strategies.
“…cybercrime is growing rapidly. So, you have the vendor community who is hiring; you have large corporations who are hiring. There’re just way too many jobs for way too few people,” says Steve Morgan of Cybersecurity Ventures. With an increasing demand for graduates with a specialty in cyber security, the timing could not be better for those interested in working with computers, network defense and advanced security.
At the University of Memphis, the academic curriculum changes to reflect current industry needs, an extremely helpful aspect for current and prospective students. The University’s Department of Computer Science offers traditional undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, plus graduate certificates in cyber security, as the institution fully appreciates the importance of the subject in the midst of the digital age.
Students who are thinking of enrolling here choose from a variety of computer science degrees that have been revamped to reflect current needs of businesses and employers. Programmes include the Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program, M.S. Computer Science, M.S. Bioinformatics, Ph.D. Computer Science, Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security and Information Assurance and Graduate Certificate in Data Science.
For those hoping to pursue the traditional B.S. Computer Science degree, you’ll have the option to pursue brand-new subjects like Computer Security, Secure Coding and Testing, as well as two new electives in Wireless and Mobile Security and Digital Forensics. Plus, the Department presents options for an honors designation and a Computer Science minor. Students can also pursue a ‘second major’ in Computer Science, which falls between a minor and a traditional double major.
“Our programs build on solid foundations and on laboratory experiences to provide our graduates with a stimulating combination of knowledge and effective computing skills that enable them to become effective problem solvers,” says Lan Wang, Department Chair and Professor. For students aiming to study the Bachelor, Master or Ph.D. in Computer Science, these three degrees are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Aside from a comprehensive knowledge base and qualification, Computer Science students at Memphis have the chance to work with atop-notch faculty where each member is fully dedicated to both teaching and research work. On top of that, the institution boasts one a highly active research department, granting students plenty of training and exposure to specific areas in the Computer Science field.
The Center for Information Assurance (CfIA) has received millions of dollars in research funds, and stands as the nation’s designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research (CAE-CDE, CAE-R) by the NSA/DHS (National Security Agency/ Department of Homeland Security).
Chief among its research pursuits is the theory of how a game model can be applied to cyber security. The Game Theory and Cyber Security (GTCS) group conducts cutting-edge research to explore how they can apply game theoretic approaches to address network security issues. Current projects that students are working on include Game Theory Inspired Defense Architecture (GIDA), and AVOIDIT: A Cyber Attack Taxonomy.
Apart from working on world-class research, the CfIA provides training and career development services for students and pofessionals through community events, special purpose conferences, and vendor specific training programs. Students will also have the opportunity to listen first-hand from industry leaders through the annual Cyber Security Summit.
Each year, students get to meet and network with government officials, industry speakers, and academic professionals, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, City of Memphis, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Accenture, FedEx, National Cyber Security Alliance, U.S Naval Academy, and University of Memphis.
It’s important to the University that it establishes a successful student-centered research environment where both undergraduates and postgraduates get to work on federal-funded projects. Previous students have participated in cyber defense competitions (CANsec), as well as codebreaking (NSA Codebreaking Challenge) and security challenges (CyberSEED 2016), giving them with the chance to put their theory knowledge into practice.
As cyber security becomes a primary focus for global governments, it’s important that graduates who enter the field are equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to tackle these issues. With a University of Memphis degree in Computer Science, you’ll be more than capable to handle any issues coming your way.