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Malaysia’s APU launches first integrated cybersecurity talent zone

According to a recent press release, the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) unveiled Malaysia’s first Cyber Security Talent Zone located within at its campus in Technology Park Malaysia.

The CyberSecurity Talent Zone was set up to address industry’s pressing need for technically competent CyberSecurity professionals. APU partnered with MDEC and industry partners in this truly international initiative, which includes infrastructure and services from at least three countries.

The Chief Executive Officer of MDEC commented that Malaysia is vitally aware of the importance of future-proofing the cybersecurity sector, especially to ensure that the nation’s digital economy continues to thrive. It is more critical than ever before to fortify and strengthen Malaysia’s cybersecurity ecosystem with strategic initiatives, especially through public-private sector collaboration such as today’s integrated cybersecurity talent zone.

It was added that this move followed the launch of an industry-driven up-skilling talent development initiative with APU and other partner programmes with the aim of transforming cybersecurity challenges into sustainable economic growth.

It was noted that collaborative digital education and training initiatives will play an increasingly vital role in creating opportunities and preparing the Malaysian workforce with relevant industry-based skillsets that are aligned with industry needs.

The CyberSecurity Talent Zone features a fully-functional Security Operations Centre (SOC) that allows students to have hands-on cybersecurity operations experience. The facility allows APU’s Cyber Security students to actively analyse occurrences of cyber-attacks and plan counteractive measures towards cyber threats through real-time data.

In addition, a full-fledged Cyber Threats Simulation and Response Centre (also known as Cyber Defence Centre – CDC) is also included within the Cyber Security Talent Zone, supported and sponsored by a French cyber testing systems provider with equipment valued around RM2.4 million.

The Cyber Defence Centre incorporates latest technologies and a cyber-defense system (also known as Cyber Range) that can simulate highly complex cyber-attacks in a hyper-realistic environment, enabling cybersecurity professionals and students to understand and formulate defence strategies, and practice the entire chain of cyber defence, while preparing them to deal with real cyber threat attack when it happens.

Students will be exposed to the usage of the facilities in their Year 2 and Year 3 of studies, in which they will be required to complete assignments and group projects in the SOC and CDC to produce accurate cyber threat reports based on the real-time data.

With the use of Data Analytics, data collected can be used in both academia and industry environments for research purposes, to create innovative solutions to combat future threats in the cyber world.

With the strategic partnerships, the aim is to build the next generation of highly skilled cyber defenders for academia, businesses, government and service providers.

Other facilities within the Cyber Security Talent Zone include the Centre for Research and Development in IoT (CREDIT) and the Centre for Forensics & Cyber Security (FSec), designed to provide a wide spectrum of advanced technologies and tools for the use of students, academia and the relevant industry partners.

Some details of other facilities within the Cyber Security Talent Zone are as follow:

  • The Centre for Research and Development in IoT (CREDIT); it features an array of display of latest IoT-enabled devices and solutions. Workshops, projects and lecture classes will be conducted in the IoT Learning Labs, whereas the Project Innovation Room provides the facility for students to conduct research and develop innovative IoT products and solutions.
  • The Forensics Mock Court serves as an avenue for students to be exposed to real-world practices in forensic evidence presentation, particularly when it comes to presenting findings of cybersecurity investigation reports, traces of digital footprints and so on.
  • The Centre for Forensics & Cyber Security (FSec) serves as a sophisticated research centre for students to conduct research on digital assets protection, cyberspace activities, cybercrime investigations and incident handling and responses based on the provided facilities. Moving forward, the Centre will also host industrial talks by partners from the industry in which the facility will be utilised as an industrial networking zone as well.
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