July 25, 2018

Worried about a cyberattack? UCalgary launches grad certificates in information security

Faculty of Science programs provide interdisciplinary, experiential education for mid-career professionals; now accepting applications

As the world — and the way it functions — becomes increasingly digitized, cybersecurity professionals are in ever-increasing demand. More than 210,000 cybersecurity jobs in Canada will need to be filled in the next three to five years, as every organization from startups to governments seeks to protect themselves against cyberattacks.

In 2019, the Faculty of Science will offer two new graduate-level certificates in network security and software security. The programs will bring students together with the university’s top information security researchers to work with real networks or develop usable software or products.

“These two new information security certificates will fill a growing need in the Canadian economy,” says Dr. Lesley Rigg, dean of the Faculty of Science. “These programs were developed by an interdisciplinary group of faculty members who are experts and knowledge creators in their fields. Students will get to take full advantage of their expertise.”

Experiential learning focus helps IT professionals bolster skills

The first intake for the network security certificate will be January 2019, while the software security program will kick off in September 2019.

The Certificate in Network Security is designed for current IT professionals, particularly those who are tasked with protecting the network environment of an organization or specialists contracted to tighten up the security of a networked organization.

“Network security specialists are in high demand across every industry to help identify and mitigate threats to organizations,” says Dr. Philip Fong, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, and one of the program directors for the information security certificates.

“Along with courses in applied cryptography and network security, we will have a laboratory course on ethical hacking, where students will go through techniques for assessing security of an existing network infrastructure by actually launching attacks against the organization being assessed.”

Teach how to protect existing networks or new products

For those who are interested in developing their own software product — like a mobile app — the Certificate in Software Security teaches students how to develop their product in a rigorous way so that the resulting software or product is secure.

Students can expect to learn the principles of applications security, how to develop secure products, and gain practical experience developing a secure software system or product while applying threat modelling, security design, and security assessment skills.

“This is a certificate for innovators,” Fong says. “It’s for people who want to develop software or mobile apps for a smart device.”

Applications are now being accepted to the Certificate in Network Security with an application deadline of Oct. 15, 2018.