A new generation of cyber sleuths is to be trained to track down computer hackers costing the British economy billions of pounds every year.
The UK’s first MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics has been launched by Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Computing. It is the latest in a growing number of university courses set up to combat rising levels of cyber crime.
The Government estimates that e-crime costs the UK several billion pounds every year and recently set up its own Office for Cyber Security. Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon, meanwhile, is currently facing extradition to America to stand trial for hacking into US military computers.
Students on the new Edinburgh Napier course are expected to be able to command lucrative salaries as ‘IT forensic investigators’. They will be taught the detective skills needed to catch cyber crooks in the act, including how to gather digital evidence that will stand up in court.
Starting in January 2010, the one year Masters course builds on the world-class research in the University’s Centre for Distributed Computing and Security.
Professor Bill Buchanan, Director of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Distributed Computing and Security, said: “Computer hacking and other IT related security breaches cost the UK economy billions of pounds each year and there is a rapidly-growing demand for security and digital forensic skills in sectors such as finance, energy and retail.
“This new Masters explains how to gather digital evidence that will stand up in court and help tackle the problem of cyber crime. Graduates will be in demand as security consultants, network architects, digital forensics investigators and network engineers and will be able to demand some of the highest salaries in the sector.”
The programme will give students an in-depth knowledge and practical skills in key areas such as encryption and authentication methods; digital forensics; wireless and mobile security, cloud computing; and next generation web systems.
The MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics will also feature regular guest lecturers from IT industry experts. It is aimed at IT professionals and technical graduates looking to retrain or improve their career prospects and will be available on a full-time and part-time basis, as well as through distance learning.