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IBM Helps Bridge the Cyber Security Skills Gap by Partnering with More Than 200 Global Universities

November 18, 2013 No Comments


ARMONK, N.Y. – 15 Nov 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is adding eleven additional schools to its more than 200 partnerships with universities around the globe, focusing on collaborating to bring cyber security skills into the classroom. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment in the cyber security field is expected to grow rapidly, increasing 22 percent by 2020. As organizations transmit and store more sensitive information electronically, the need for employees with experience in cyber security will be imperative in order to protect data in the cloud, mobile devices and traditional computing.

As part of IBM’s Academic Initiative, the company is launching new curriculum and programs focusing on cyber security with Fordham University, Georgia Institute of Technology, San Jose State University, Southern Methodist University, Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany, Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, Universidad Cenfotec in Costa Rica, Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia, The University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Dallas, and Wroclaw University of Economics in Poland.

“As our planet becomes more interconnected though new technology like cloud computing and the proliferation of mobile devices, interdisciplinary education for cyber security is essential,” said Dr. Mark Harris, Assistant Professor, Integrated Information Technology Program, The University of South Carolina. “This is a challenge that IBM is proactively addressing, largely by partnering with academic programs and encouraging higher levels of skill development to address these new world challenges.”

The number of cyber security academic programs around the world has increased significantly over the past decade. One reason for this growth is the very strong demand from industry and government for trained professionals as both of these market segments are facing a significant skills gap. In fact, over half of industry respondents in a recent survey by Frost & Sullivan said that they had too few information security workers on staff. A UK government report said that it may take 20 years to address the current cyber security skills gaps.

To help rectify this situation, IBM’s Cyber Security Innovation Program is designed to help facilitate collaboration with educators around the globe to teach students cyber security skills needed to be competitive in a rapidly changing work environment. With this program, IBM combines its leadership in developing and innovating security products, services and solutions for clients with its long-standing relationship with the academic and research community.

“Developing security intelligence skills for the 21st century, including the ability to proactively predict, identify and react to potential threats has taken on a new priority in the digital age,” said Marisa Viveros, Vice President of IBM’s Cybersecurity Innovation Program. “Our security skills development programs are designed to address the most urgent areas of security and provide expertise and training to help clients cope with the dire skills shortage.”

As part of the Cyber Security Innovation Program, IBM provides:

Technology & Tools: Including access to IBM software portfolio through the IBM Academic Initiative and donated network scanners for use in research labs to monitor intrusions

Course Materials: Including a Skills Taxonomy with links to appropriate online pages on Academic Initiative, examples of university programs, security and IT services curriculum, publications and trend reports, as well as case studies and real world challenges

Faculty Awards: Given to faculty with winning proposals about how to incorporate IBM technology into its curriculum and share what they build with other universities worldwide

Announced today, the following academic institutions are joining forces with IBM:

Fordham University is collaborating with IBM on a cyber security and information fusion course for the MS in Computer Science degree program. Professor Frank Hsu, Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science, Professor of Computer and Information Science, and director of Fordham Laboratory of Informatics and Data Mining, received an IBM faculty award for his work on building or enhancing three new courses focused on cyber security at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, IBM participated in the International Conference
on Cyber Security
 held at Fordham University, which brings together industry, government, and academic leaders who have been teaching, researching and practicing cyber security.

Georgia Institute of Technology is partnering with IBM in an effort to update the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) standards to contain updated requirements for cyber security as part of Computer Science education. IBM also recognized Mustaque Ahamad, Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, with a faculty award for the work that he and the university are doing as a leader in cyber security education.

San Jose State University is teaming with IBM for curriculum consultations with nine new faculty members who have joined 20 veteran instructors to focus on big data and cyber security training and research within the following departments and schools: Management Information Systems, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Library and Information Science, and Psychology. Professors will also be able to access big data and cyber security courseware provided by IBM, hosted on the cloud. Additionally, IBM is joining San Jose State University’s new “Industry Advisory Council (IAC) for Cybersecurity and Big Data” which aims to encourage workforce skills development in the two subjects.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is working with IBM to further enhance the university’s strong cyber security academic programs and research initiatives. With the recent addition to the faculty of Dr. Frederick Chang, Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and former director of research at the National Security Agency, SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering will partner with IBM on research projects involving the economics of cyber security and the metrics of cyber science.

Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany is establishing a new “Security by Design Lab” with IBM, which will educate students on security issues related to engineering in a state of the art facility focused on industry and research. The current work by Michael Waidner, Professor at TU Darmstadt and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), as well as his team will give students hands-on experience with the typical security design and integration problems of Web applications. The new lab will reduce the gap between research and education in security by design, and is of huge practical value for students and their future employers.

Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore and IBM have been collaborators in the area of IT Security for several years. This collaboration provides training to students in the most current areas of IT security technologies. It also facilitates opportunities for pioneering the conception, development and deployment of new security solutions, using the technologies and services of IBM. The collaboration on the TP-IBM Centre for IT Security comprises several areas such as curriculum development.

Universidad Cenfotec in Costa Rica is aligning with IBM to build a new Master’s Degree in Cyber Security. The university is leveraging materials from IBM that are designed to be reused to create coursework in other universities. For this program, IBM is transferring up-to-date knowledge to university faculty on some core topics of Information Security, including security controls and management, governance models, and an introduction to various frameworks. IBM’s partnership with the university is investing in infrastructure and human resources that will develop cyber security skills in Costa Rica and build best practices to replicate in other locations, if needed.

Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia is creating a centre of excellence to deepen holistic skills in cyber security. IBM’s IT security technology is being embedded into the university’s Cyber Security degree program and is providing software, courseware, training and testing that are needed for the students to gain global cyber security skills.

The University of South Carolina is utilizing IBM threat intelligence research, including the X-Force Trend and Risk Report to lay a foundation of cyber security skills for students by teaching the latest technology to combat emerging threats. In addition, through a partnership with IBM, faculty and students are able to leverage free access to software solutions such as InfoSphere Guardium for protecting data and IBM Security AppScan for protecting software applications. In the “Advanced Networking” class, students are introduced to network administration and security to get hands-on experience working with IBM Endpoint Manager to securely manage mobile devices, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions.

University of Texas at Dallas is applying IBM resources to develop cyber security courses and curriculum in areas such as cloud computing, mobile computing and cyber operations. Furthermore, Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (CSI) at UT Dallas, is recipient of a 2013 IBM Faculty Award for establishing new courses, such as secure cloud computing, data mining for malware detection and cyber operations.

Wroclaw University of Economics in Poland is cooperating with IBM on Postgraduate Studies in Cyber Security Management, which is conducted by highly qualified professionals and specialists in the area of information systems security. Many classes enlist the help of IBM on curriculum development from specialists in the field of cyber security management and technology. These classes are designed for students planning a career in cyber security that will take a leading managerial role in an organization dependent on data and information communication technology. In addition, students can access the new IBM security operations center located in Wroclaw.

About IBM Security

IBM provides the security intelligence to help organizations protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research and development organizations. IBM monitors 15 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries and holds more than 3,000 security patents.



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