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New Zealand University Unveils Cybersecurity Diploma

The Universal College of Learning (UCOL) has announced it is offering the New Zealand diploma in cybersecurity from mid-February. With about ten billion devices connected to the Internet worldwide and the increasing number of high-profile data breaches, there is a growing need for the country to invest in protecting and storing data.

UCOL, a New Zealand government TEI (Polytechnic), will deliver the one-year full-time level 6 diploma at its Manawatu campus together with Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, using their established programme and resources. According to a report, the programme is eligible for fees-free study under the government’s targeted training and apprenticeships fund until 31 December.

UCOL’s New Zealand diploma in cybersecurity will run from 28 February to 27 November, with applications now open. Students will learn through a combination of in-person, online, and in-work learning. Learners will attend lectures by UCOL staff and industry experts from organisations in the field of cybersecurity. The programme will also include industry placements, enabling students to use and develop their skills in the workplace.

The course will cover fundamental concepts in information systems security, cyber law and regulations, cryptography, network security, security risk assessment, cybersecurity governance and practices, ethical hacking and testing, and incident handling. Students will learn how to identify, mitigate, and respond to cybersecurity risks and incidents, and help assure information and systems security, integrity, and availability.

Major data breaches and denial-of-service attacks have become common, even in New Zealand. In 2021, several organisations including New Zealand Post, Inland Revenue, MetService, and Kiwibank were targeted by attacks that took their websites offline or prevented customers from using their services. Industry experts have stated that it is difficult to find staff suitably qualified in cybersecurity. There is a high demand, not only in New Zealand but also globally. This qualification develops the skills of the people the industry is looking for.

As per a cybersecurity report, 59% of companies worldwide have unfilled digital security positions, and it is predicted there will be a worldwide shortage of 3.5 million cybersecurity professionals by the end of 2022. Cybersecurity jobs can often be done remotely, meaning staff can work from anywhere in the world.

Last December, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) partnered with private-sector cybersecurity providers in an initiative that aimed to prevent millions of dollars of cyber harm. The cyber defence capability launched by the GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is intended to make the centre’s cyber threat intelligence available to commercial cybersecurity providers to help defend their customers’ networks. GCSB Director-General, Andrew Hampton, had explained that the key to scaling the benefits from NCSC cyber defence capabilities is to work in partnership with other cybersecurity providers.

The Malware Free Networks (MFN) capability makes that possible, providing a platform to share indicators of malicious activity with security service providers so they can detect and disrupt that activity on their customers’ networks.

As OpenGov Asia reported, MFN is the NCSC’s threat detection and disruption service that provides near real-time threat intelligence reflecting current malicious activity targeting New Zealand organisations. The MFN threat intelligence service can be integrated with other systems and platforms to increase the range of malicious activity MFN customers are defended against. MFN complements commercial threat intelligence by detecting and disrupting against indicators identified through NCSC’s advanced cyber defence capabilities and sourced from the NCSC’s international cybersecurity partnerships.

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