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Academy launched at Napier to fight cybercrime

digital economyComputer security experts will gather at Edinburgh Napier University today for the launch of a new crime-busting International Cyber Academy.

It bring together industry professionals, law enforcers and academics to combat the growing threat from sophisticated criminals who use hacking software to steal money, data and intellectual property.

The Edinburgh Napier-led Cyber Academy will work with the EU-funded Dynamic Forensics Evaluation and Training (DFET) project, which is building an infrastructure for cyber security training and creating new training methods and techniques to support the authorities.

The University, which takes its name from logarithms inventor John Napier, will help address the growing demand for cyber security specialists and provide a mechanism for interaction between students and organisations.

Innovative ideas will be developed through funded PhD research, and students and professionals will learn how to secure systems, respond to security breaches and how to investigate the work of hackers.

The launch, which is being supported by leading cyber security companies as well as the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland, will integrate teaching, research and professional practice and create a platform for the discussion of key issues.  The Academy will support a range of conferences, symposiums and workshops.

It will also help develop flexible training programmes with academic credits towards qualifications like Edinburgh Napier’s GCHQ intelligence agency-certified MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics.

Professor Bill Buchanan, of Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, said:The demand for graduates in this area increases by the day, and we thus aim for The Cyber Academy to continue a strive for excellence in teaching, professional practice and research. It is an area which requires many different skillsets to work together, and we believe the academy will achieve this.”

Edinburgh is becoming a key hub for innovation and enterprise within computer security and Wednesday’s launch event will be attended by delegates from the worlds of finance, banking and Government as well as cyber security specialists.

The speakers will include representatives from the National Cyber Crime Unit, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Police Scotland and a range of businesses.

Technology consultancy, FarrPoint will sign up as an associate member of the Academy.

Neil Anderson, Security Director at FarrPoint, said: “Effective cyber security is critical for Scotland’s national infrastructure and is only gaining in importance.  Our economy is increasingly reliant on complex, interconnected IT systems so we urgently need more highly skilled cyber security experts to help us defend ourselves from the growing cyber threat and protect Scotland’s economy, particularly in the flourishing SME sector.”

Cormac Callanan, CEO of Aconite Internet Solutions, said the Cyber Academy was a very timely initiative.”

He said: “We all depend on the internet for social and business activities. Yet, every day, we are disturbingly reminded about high profile attacks against the IT systems of companies who are household names. These attacks have significant financial and reputational impact on these companies and disrupt consumer trust and confidence which has taken years to create.”

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