Case study

Developing new professions for new businesses: Waging the cyber-security war

29 Mar 2017

From hacking to phishing, scamming to grooming, botnets to cyber-terrorism, the threats posed within the digital world continue to grow.

But, thanks to the foresight of the University of East London (UEL) in becoming the first UK university to offer a postgraduate programme specifically focused on digital forensics, a small army of highly trained cyber specialists are fighting back.

One of them is Nikolaos Sarantinos, who graduated with an MSc in Information Security and Digital Forensics and then landed a job as an assistant manager in the forensic technology department of Deloitte.

“The MSc was fantastic because combined the latest theoretical knowledge with the practical requirements of employers in terms of cyber security,” says Nikolaos.

“It’s the reason I was able to apply to Deloitte, the largest forensic practice in the world, with confidence and to pursue my chosen career.”

Around 700 students have graduated from UEL’s MSc programme since it was launched in 2004. They include those already in employment and others who went on to secure specialist roles with prestigious employers, including governments and major banking and finance corporations.

Building on its success, UEL began offering a professional doctorate in Information Security in 2010 aimed at employers. Among the companies who put employees on the programme are Amazon and Ford Motor Company.

Taught by a team of eight specialist academics, both the MSc and the professional doctorate are constantly being reviewed and updated to meet the needs of industry.

As well as providing expert teaching, the academic team’s research output was rated world-leading in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

Staff have also provided consultancy for the Home Office, the Department of Health, the International Olympic Committee and accountancy firm KPMG.

It means students are taught by people who are fully engaged with government and employers as well as being engaged in cutting-edge research.

And with the recent launch of the government’s new National Cyber Security Centre, information security and digital forensics is set to stay firmly on the agenda for years to come.