More than 100 academics, IT professionals, privacy experts and others with an interest in cyber security attended the launch of two new cyber security initiatives at the University of Waikato on Tuesday.
The University has established the country’s only dedicated cyber security lab and also launched New Zealand’s first Masters degree in cyber security.
Demand for cyber security professionals
The launch featured speeches by Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, Gallaghers head Sir William Gallagher and Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Dean Professor Geoff Holmes, who says demand for cyber security professionals was growing rapidly, both in New Zealand and overseas, and the education sector had been slow to respond to meet that need.
“Demand for cyber security experts is growing at 3.5 times the pace of the overall IT job market and 12 times faster than the total labour market internationally,” he says, with the cyber security market expected to grow to $94 billion in 2017.
Master of Cyber Security
The Masters degree and research lab would train cyber security professionals to meet that demand.
He hoped the lab would become one of the top cyber security regional hubs in the Asia/Pacific region in five years.
Senior lecturer Dr Ryan Ko says while many people study computer science and software development, there is a growing need for cyber security specialists.
“I think, especially in New Zealand, there is a lack of mainstream education on cyber security so our aim is to train ethical security professionals. There is a lack of such training at university level.”
“Data security education is still a fledgling area and a good area for the University to get into early.”
Sir William told the crowd Gallaghers received around two million emails each month, of which 1.6 million were spam. The company was also regularly the target of cyber attacks and he backed any moves which would help protect company data.