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LEADING THE WAY IN CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION

June 12, 2024 | Campus News

Cybersecurity incidents often result in severe economic consequences, affecting companies and nations alike. A targeted cyber attack can lead to financial losses, damage to reputation and a downturn in investor confidence. 

Recognising this, Malaysia has placed a significant emphasis on strengthening its cybersecurity workforce, as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the need for 25,000 cybersecurity professionals by 2025. 

Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), recognised as a Premier Digital Tech Institution in Malaysia and winner of the Best Cybersecurity Education Provider Award, is at the forefront of this initiative. 

Located in Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, APU collaborates with industry partners to create a visionary training environment for aspiring cybersecurity experts. 

APU offers specialised programmes in cybersecurity and digital forensics, including the BSc (Hons) in Information Technology with a Specialism in Information Systems Security, BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Cyber Security), BSc (Hons) Computer Science with a Specialism in Digital Forensics and Master of Science in Cyber Security. 

These programmes adhere to international standards and industry requirements, providing students with real-world cybersecurity practices and hands-on experience. 

Graduates also have the advantage of diverse career pathways, with opportunities to work in fields such as network security, incident response, penetration testing, cybersecurity consulting, risk management, digital forensics, secure software development and numerous other areas.

Notably, salaries in the cybersecurity field are typically competitive due to the high demand for skilled professionals. 

Experienced faculty and cutting-edge facilities

At APU, students benefit from the expertise of faculty members who possess industry experience, research publications and professional certifications in cybersecurity. This enables them to gain valuable insights and receive guidance from knowledgeable instructors. 

APU’s cybersecurity modules gain substantial value from its collaborations with industry partners and recognition from industry-leading certifications.

These collaborations allow the institution to continuously assess its curriculum, ensuring that the knowledge imparted remains current and aligned with industry needs. 

Additionally, students can use cutting-edge technologies, cybersecurity labs and software tools, resulting in an enhanced learning experience. 

The university boasts state-of-the-art cybersecurity facilities including the Cyber Range, which is a full-fledged Cyber Threats Simulation and Response Centre under the Cyber Security Talent Zone. 

This facility features the latest technologies and a military-grade cyber-defence system capable of simulating complex cyber attacks in a hyper-realistic environment. 

Students gain invaluable experience in understanding and formulating defence strategies, preparing them to handle real cyber threats. 

The Cyber Security Talent Zone also houses a fully functional Security Operations Centre (SOC), offering students hands-on cybersecurity operations experience. 

At SOC, students analyse cyber-attacks and plan countermeasures using real-time data. These facilities provide a platform for practical learning in ethical hacking and incident response, essential for nurturing skilled security professionals. 

Industry collaboration and partnerships

In collaboration with leading cybersecurity firms, APU fosters partnerships to prepare students for the industry's evolving demands. 

Participating in cybersecurity contests and competitions further enhances students’ skills by allowing them to apply classroom knowledge to real-life scenarios. 

APU’s Forensics and Cyber Security Research Centre (FSeC) addresses market demands and future technology needs by promoting collaborative industry research and enhancing graduates’ employability skills. 

FSec is divided into three subsections – Research Section, Cybersecurity as a Service (CaaS) and Student Section. It offers innovative, hands-on educational opportunities, collaboration on research projects, workshops and training programmes, engaging real-world projects, and cybersecurity services. 

“With the recent completion of multiple projects under the FSeC-CaaS umbrella, which included delivering penetration testing and digital forensics services to startups and SMEs on a service-oriented basis,” says FSeC head Dr Julia Juremi

“FSeC assumes the role of a beacon guiding businesses towards digital resilience and success by empowering startups and SMEs with cutting-edge cybersecurity services.”

The university’s dedication to outstanding cybersecurity education is demonstrated by its achievements. These include winning the Gold Award for Best Asia Cybersecurity Education Provider consecutively from 2019 to 2024, securing titles in various Capture the Flag and Hackathon competitions and receiving medals in international innovation awards such as the Malaysia Technology Expo and International University Carnival and e-Learning. 

Amidst the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), APU is enhancing its cybersecurity offerings by upgrading its cybersecurity labs, hiring more expert lecturers and integrating AI modules into first-year cybersecurity studies, which is a new offering for the upcoming batch of SPM graduates. 

“Our mission at APU is to create a future-ready cybersecurity workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills to tackle the ever-evolving cyber threats. By providing a robust educational ecosystem and fostering industry partnerships, we aim to produce graduates who are proficient and leaders in the cybersecurity field,” says APU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Ho Chin Kuan.

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