As cyberattacks appear to be becoming more common, a new program at Cambrian College in Sudbury is giving students the tools to combat them.
The Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate (CSEC) Program is ready to graduate to accept its third student, coordinator Myles Peterson told CBC News.
This was well timed, as several high-profile attacks have raised awareness and concerns about cybersecurity.
“[Cyberattacks] Mr Peterson said:
“We can build all the security controls we want, but we still know that humans are the weakest link in the network.”
According to Peterson, the more people who understand what the hackers are after, the easier it will be to recognize that an attack is underway.
“Everybody needs to be trained to be cyber-aware, to know about phishing attacks, spam attacks, etc.,” he said.
Recent cyberattacks targeted liquor stores, school boards
In December, a B.C. copper mining company closed its plant after a ransomware attack.
In January, LCBO advised customers to change credit cards if they recently purchased liquor online from the website.
and an employee of the Sault Ste. English Catholic Board of Education. Marie was also told that her personal information may have been stolen in a cyberattack.
Cambrian College dealt with its own cyberattack in 2017. A malware program attacked students and prevented them from checking their grades.
“We feel a greater need,” Peterson said. “I see companies saying, ‘We need this, we don’t have people trained to do this.'”
“So we’re jumping into the market now and trying to train students. We’ve seen it coming.”
The two-term, eight-month program will help students land jobs in a “broad” field, Peterson said.
“Many companies are in the early stages of cybersecurity deployment,” he said. “They kind of look at the policies and evaluate them to set standards…they could be building systems and operations centers. Because it’s not working, it’s been around for a while, but they don’t have anyone watching, with all the logging.
we are at a tipping point– Miles Peterson
“We can’t have enough people looking at all these raw logs, so we need a system to do this,” he said. “We need an automated system that extracts threats for us and says, ‘There’s something we need to see, so we’re going to investigate based on that.'”
So far, the class has averaged 22 students per semester, and some of the first group to graduate in August have already found jobs.
Peterson said he sees the industry as “only growing,” which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“We are at a kind of turning point right now,” said Peterson. “Many companies are realizing the risks. [lack of] Cybersecurity is bringing to their networks.
“Everyone is looking for cybersecurity talent right now. Demand is very high and supply is low.”