Britain’s central surveillance and intelligence agency, known as GCHQ, is hoping to boost the European country’s cybersecurity skills by fostering the next generation of cyber-savvy experts at British universities.
Amid growing fears that an IT security skills shortage could threaten the nation’s future in an increasingly connected world, GCHQ last week formally accredited, or provisionally certified, six Master’s cybersecurity degree courses at U.K. academic institutions including:
- Edinburgh Napier University - MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
- Lancaster University - MSc in Cyber Security
- University of Oxford - MSc in Software and Systems Security
- Royal Holloway, University of London - MSc in Information Security
- Cranfield University - MSc in Cyber Defence and Information Assurance
- University of Surrey - MSc in Information Security
"Cybersecurity is a crucial part of this government's long term plan for the British economy. We want to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. Through the excellent work of GCHQ, in partnership with other government departments, the private sector and academia, we are able to counter threats and ensure together we are stronger and more aware," said Francis Maude, UK minister for the Cabinet Office in a statement.
The latest GCHQ move is part of the U.K.’s $1.4 billion National Cyber Security Strategy, launched in 2011.
A call for other U.K. universities to submit additional cybersecurity courses for Master's certification will take place later this year, including courses that are focused on areas deemed to be of increasing importance to information security, such as digital forensics and analyzing the human and social factors behind cyber crime.
“Young people need to realize that it’s equally exciting to defend online security networks as it is to attack them,” commented Awais Rashid, director of security at the GCHQ-accredited Lancaster University’s security research center.
Written by Paul Tate
Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive