The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) networks were breached by hackers last month (April 2017), according to the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE). CSA said: "We know who did it, and we know what they are after..."
This is a case of cyber forensics at work -- using forensic computing to secure and examine digital evidence which is central to criminal investigations involving digital media.
Singapore's Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs systems have also been breached. And just over the past weekend, about 150 countries worldwide were hit by cyber-attacks on an unprecedented scale.
It is against this backdrop that Kaplan Singapore is beefing up its cyber security programmes offered through reputed partner universities to produce digital forensics and cyber security specialists in response to a growing market for such personnel to fight rising cybercrime. The initiatives are:
Kaplan will incorporate EC-Council's cyber security features into its Foundation Diploma and Skills-based Diploma programmes to produce cyber-savvy graduates.
EC-Council is the world's largest cyber security technical certification body and operates in 145 countries globally. Kaplan signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) todayto formalise this arrangement withEC-Council, and Wissen International, which markets EC-Council's programmes.
EC-Council is the owner and developer of the world-famous Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (C|HFI), Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), License Penetration Testing (Practical) programmes, among others.
Under the terms of the MOU, EC-Council will:
- Grant permission for its Certified Secure (CSCU) course to be incorporated into Kaplan's Foundation Diploma (KFD). This is projected to be launched in the third quarter of 2017
- Grant permission for its Certified Security Specialist (ECSS) and Certified Network Defender (CND) courses to be incorporated into Kaplan's Skills-Based Diploma (KSD). These are projected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2017 (subject to CPE registration).
Kaplan will launch a new University of Portsmouth degree programme in Forensic Computing in December 2017.
This will provide a core background in computing as well as the principles, techniques and processes essential in training to be a computer forensics investigator. With rising cybercrime, such investigators are needed for a range of offences -- from minor indiscretions to major embezzlements and serious sexual offences, in which trained personnel need to track information on digital media and examine digital evidence necessary for criminal investigations. Graduates of University of Portsmouth's programmes elsewhere have gone on to become digital forensics and cyber security specialists.
Murdoch Singapore and Google have reached agreement to co-host the "Singapore Forum on Cyber Worlds in the Asia Pacific 2017" on August 3.
The key themes of the forum are Cyberwellness, Cybersecurity, Cyber Lifestyles and Cyber Governance and Ethics.
Murdoch University already offers four degree programmes in Cyber Forensics (part-time and full-time) through Kaplan:
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics and Information Security (Single Major)
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics and Information Security and Business Information Systems (Double Major)
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics and Information Security and Computer Science (Double Major)
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics and Information Security and Management (Double Major)
Graduates of these programmes are already employed in civil service and the private sector.
The Cyber Security Landscape
In Singapore, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim has said that the cyber security sector is projected to grow to about S$900m by 2020. There is a National Cyber Security Masterplan 2018 which aims to:
Enhance the security and resilience of critical infocomm infrastructure
Increase efforts to promote the adoption of appropriate infocomm security measures among individuals and businesses
Grow Singapore's pool of infocomm security experts.
Worldwide, statistics from the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report 2016 show that there were 689 million victims of cybercrime -- i.e. 1.8 million victims per day and 21 victims per second. Since 2015, US$126 billion has been spent dealing with cybercrime globally.
Seventeen new programmes to be launched by Kaplan
The University of Portsmouth degree programme on Forensic Computing is one of 17 new programmes to be launched by Kaplan with reputed overseas universities from August this year to meet the changing market demand for personnel. All the programmes will be offered on both a part-time or full-time basis.
It will also launch Murdoch University degree programmes in Journalism with an option for five other double majors -- Communications and Media Studies, Management, Marketing, Public Relations, and Web Communications.
Other programmes include: University of Portsmouth courses in Psychology, Software Engineering, and Economics, Finance and Banking; a RMIT Masters programme in Engineering (Management), and Northumbria University programmes in Accounting and Childhood Studies and Early Years. (Please refer to the chart below.)