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Every business needs a Cyber Security professional

While today’s hyperconnected digital world has helped generate immense wealth and opportunities, it has also introduced new threats to businesses and their customers. MSc Cyber Security Programme Director Dr Fauzia Idrees explains why it’s become crucial to hire an expert capable of countering these attacks.

Written by Natalia Aliucova |

Man's hands using two laptops
“Cyber security professionals are in high demand and there is a high demand for them to combat the ever-increasing threats to individuals and businesses.”

Today the majority of companies and public organisations deal with sensitive data, making practically every business a potential target of cybercrime.

One small mistake – clicking on the link in a fishing email, failing to password-protect files or joining a public network using a work laptop or phone – can risk the company losing its clients’ personal data, facing thousands of pounds in fines and tainting its reputation. 

We saw critical infrastructure breaches and how one company’s cyber security can have a cascading effect on many others in this closely connected world, from direct customers to end consumers, to the US’ Eastern Seaboard.

As our technology develops, so do the tools and techniques used by cybercriminals. This is why it is crucial that cyber security experts keep on top of the latest trends and methods as well as ways to combat these cyber threats. With businesses increasingly moving their work processes online in recent years, we are now experiencing a shortage of such professionals.

This is a high Return on Investment degree as it focuses on mastering practical skills that have direct relevance to contemporary demands in the cyber security field.

Dr Fauzia Idrees, Programme Director for the University of London’s MSc Cyber Security, talked to us about how the programme helps to prepare its students to face and neutralise these cyber threats.

The MSc in Cyber Security is based on decades of experience at Royal Holloway, offering students not only theoretical knowledge and security management techniques, but also the use of a ‘cyber range’ which simulates a range of realistic cyber incidents and trains students to respond to them effectively. Dr Idrees points out that, to her knowledge, this is the only fully online programme with such an offering.  

The programme’s online format not only allows students to fit their studies around their work and other commitments, but makes for a diverse, international cohort:

One significant feature of the programme is the availability of a universally integrated network of information security professionals who come from multifaceted backgrounds and versatile experiences, and form networks to share their extremely fascinating experiences and perspectives with other students.

According to Dr Idrees, this MSc is designed for people from any field with some background knowledge of computer science, but there are different streams intended to help students reach the appropriate level of knowledge and become a security expert. For example, students can take individual modules, or opt for a postgraduate certificate and then progress to the full master’s.

Upon completion, graduates are well placed to pursue a range of fascinating roles, including security consultant, system administrator and chief information security officer.

The biggest threat to the cybersecurity sector is from misuse of technology. Cybersecurity professionals must step forward to advocate for using these technologies for the benefit of society as the well-being of every person, organization and country is increasingly depending on the application and security of digital technologies.

Gain the skills employers need with the University of London’s MSc in Cyber Security.