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UC’s new Grad Cert in Cyber Security Management to bridge tech and business spheres

Suzanne Lazaroo

20 May 2021: We are at a point in time when being cyber security savvy at all levels of an organisation is crucial to be competitive, says University of Canberra Associate Professor, Information Technology and Systems Dr Abu Barkat Ullah – and this places professionals with cyber security management credentials firmly in the forefront of business.

“Cyber security has long been seen as an Information Technology issue – the truth is, it is a business issue, relevant across marketplaces and industries,” Dr Barkat Ullah said. “Being educated in cyber security is a crucial part of business decision-making – and therefore of any contemporary leadership role.”

Ever-evolving digital technology and rapidly growing globalisation have been great enablers of increased connectivity – but with power, comes risk (and responsibility).

“Because we are more connected than ever, we are also exposed to greater cyber risks at international, national, organisational and individual levels,” Dr Barkat Ullah said. “If you don’t have an understanding of those risks – and the larger cyber security ecosystem – then you are vulnerable to them.”

With this in mind, the University is offering the brand-new Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Management, which is fully online.

Built on a foundation of both technological and business management knowledge, it’s a joint offering from the Faculties of Science and Technology, and Business, Government and Law.

“It’s about meeting the needs of the rapidly-expanding cyber security sector, but in the management space – so you don’t need previous IT experience to sign up for it,” said Dr Tamsin Kelly. As the Associate Dean, Education at the Faculty of Science and Technology, she oversaw the development of the certification.

“For this year’s intake, there are Commonwealth supported places [CSPs] available for domestic students in the July and November intakes – translating to significantly lower costs for anyone signing up for it.”

Coordinated by Dr Barkat Ullah, the eight-month course is geared especially for working professionals. Units will be delivered in a carousel format, one at a time; this provides students with the ability to focus on one unit at a time. After completing the foundational unit, the other units can be undertaken in any order.

The course will see students develop a critical knowledge of the cyber security ecosystem, be able to understand and analyse threats, conceptualise solutions and responses, and learn the tools to combat cyber risks.

“They will also learn to articulate both threats and solutions – it is crucial in any leadership role to be able to bridge technology and business in a way that you can effectively translate, educate and manage cyber security threats and solutions for others, whether that is your own team, or the senior leadership of a company,” Dr Barkat Ullah said.

“Course participants will also learn to navigate the legal aspects of cyber security, including learning about the laws in place and their own legal obligations and responsibilities in handling data.”

While cyber security has faded in and out of the zeitgeist to varying degrees over time, the mass exodus to working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the issue firmly in the spotlight – and veritably doubled the demand for cyber security-savvy professionals.

“It is very important to be able to work flexibly and remotely, but we need to be properly trained to do so – the reality is that not many are,” Dr Barkat Ullah said.

Looking to the marketplaces of the present and future, he says that companies and individuals will need to stay abreast of cyber security issues at all times to maintain their current operations and grow strategically.

“Professionals who attain the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Management will become advocates of a cyber safe culture – it’s about being able to minimise risk and maximise resilience,” he said.

To find out more, download a course guide or apply, go to the course page.