ISACA leader welcomes London City University's new Cyber and Security Sciences Centre

According to Professor Walker, CISM, CITP, FBCS, a security leader with the not-for-profit IT security association, there is now a pressing need for new blood in the IT security ranks, largely thanks to the growth in reliance on IT by UK organisations. Centres like the new one at London City University, he says, will help encourage new professionals to enter the industry.

London City University has a solid track record for innovation. Before it was made a university in 1966, it was an institute, and it created one of the UK's first technical optics departments in 1904. In 1909, it saw its first students qualifying for University of London BSc degrees in engineering as internal students”, he said.

After 1909, the institute was involved in aeronautics education. Two years ago, in 2009, he added, the university's School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences celebrated the centenary of aeronautics at the site.

“I have high hopes that in a century's time, the university will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cyber and Security Sciences Centre, although I suspect that the role of IT security professionals will have changed more than a little by then”, he noted.

Professor Walker, who is also a visiting professor at Nottingham University's school of computing, went on to say that the role of IT security professionals has drastically changed in the 25 years since the first PCs appeared in the world of business.

“Back in the 1980s, IT security professionals were involved in developing the first anti-virus, and then firewall, applications. Then, when the internet arrived in earnest in the 1990s, further evolutions took place. Today, ISACA's professionals – who now number almost 100,000 worldwide – are involved in a variety of corporate governance issues, as well as developing effective planning and deployment strategies surrounding the latest IT security defences”, he said.

“As we move into the second quarter-century of computers in the workplace, the advanced skill sets needed by tomorrow's IT security professionals will increasingly be developed by organisations, such as ISACA, and university resources, such as those supplied by LCU's new Cyber and Security Sciences Centre”, he added.

Professor Walker, who is CTO of Secure Bastion, an IT consultancy, says it is good to hear that the new centre is also forging links with other leading bodies, notably the Computer Science department of St. Andrews and Purdue University in the US.

“The skill sets that will be learned by LCU computer science students will stand them in good stead for when they join the ranks of other IT security professionals, and can develop their skills further within ISACA”, he said.

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