Fanshawe enters partnership to improve cybersecurity education

Stock image of a man typingon a computer with an overlay of text reading Cyber security and Data Protection CREDIT: THAPANA ONPHALAI
With the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals, Fanshawe College and JAMK University have entered a partnership that aims to equip graduates with the latest skills and knowledge needed to build robust cyber systems.

Fanshawe College and Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK University), have entered a partnership aimed at tackling cyberattacks. This partnership will offer resources to students that will give hands-on experience to combat a variety of cyber threats.

“Our Dean was at a conference called the European Association for International Education and met our Finnish partners there and they invited her to come and visit the university and we started some discussions around what they’re doing, what we’re doing here in terms of cyber security and the capabilities and that aligned with the direction we were taking our school, so they broached the idea of a partnership and we jumped at the opportunity,” said Dev Sainani, the Associate Dean to the School of Information Technology.

The tech space, called a cyber range, acts as a safety net for students to experiment with cyberattacks in a separate closed-off space to enhance their skills.

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“A cyber range is a model simulation of the real internet in a sectioned-off area called The Sandbox,” Sainani said. “So whatever happens within the cyber range itself does not get out into the public domain so you can build a simulation of the internet and you can attack it, you can introduce all sorts of threats and threat actors into the simulation and you can see how the system will respond and how to defend against it.”

Jobs in the realm of cyber security have been growing with companies wanting to hire workers equipped with up to date knowledge who are able to build a stronger reinforced cyber security network.

“It’s certainly a burgeoning field and a growing area,” said Sainani. “We see the need for cybersecurity everywhere with hacks and all those sorts of things that are happening with increasing frequency. It’s an area where skilled practitioners are in high demand, from an academic point of view. It’s a tough area to fill, but our graduates are in high demand, so certainly it’s an area that’s becoming more and more critical and central to everything we do.”

The end goal of the partnership is to equip graduates with a wide variety of cyber defense skills that can be applied to different sectors with specific security needs.

“We are part of a global network that our partners have established in Finland and what they have been doing over the last maybe 10 years is to build several domain-specific areas,” Sainani said. “So they have models that are based on the healthcare system, the food chain or, travel and transportation logistics, building out those capabilities. And then we can to build out any other capabilities that we see fit and contribute that as part of our contributions to the overall network.”