University of Warwick and IBM join forces to deliver cyber security skills of the future

Coventry - 15 Sep 2016: The Cyber Security Centre at WMG, University of Warwick, has teamed with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to develop a module for its Cyber Security master’s course portfolio which addresses key strategic cyber security issues relating to business, particularly from the perspective of an organisation's Chief Information Security Officer.


With as many as 1.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs worldwide expected by 20201, the low availability of professionals with specialised cyber skills is one of the biggest issues facing organisations looking to defend their core business systems against cyber-attacks.  



The WMG Cyber Security Centre team and IBM are addressing this skills gap by building a business-focused postgraduate module in Enterprise Cyber Security. The module is one of the first of its kind as it has been developed in collaboration with an enterprise security provider of international standing. The fully assessed module began in May 2016 and is part of the University of Warwick’s MSc in Cyber Security and Management, designed for those wishing to develop a career as a cyber security professional, or to take a leading technical or managerial role in an organisation critically dependent upon data and information communication technology. The course is available to study part-time, in order to attract business professionals who want to have the option to study alongside their work.


The Enterprise Cyber Security module encourages students to look at cyber security from both a technical and wider organisational perspective. As a result, they are able to undertake key enterprise security functions, such as persuasively articulate cyber security imperatives to key decision makers, critically evaluate the cyber security posture of an organisation, analyse an organisation’s identity and access management policies, and critically analyse the cyber security consequences of the increasing connectedness of end-point devices and systems.


With students based in the WMG Cyber Security Centre’s specialist cyber security and forensics laboratory, the module is delivered in an intensive one-week block of directed tuition around real use cases that examine cyber security within the context of areas such as cloud and analytics. The lectures are delivered by IBM Security professionals, who provide insight from their own business experience of working with clients.


"Our approach to cyber security education is a multi-disciplinary one, combining academics, government and industry experts who bring together both the technical and behavioural aspects needed for transformative cyber security,” stated Professor Tim Watson, Director of the WMG Cyber Security Centre. “We are delighted to be working with IBM to deliver this particular module, looking at cyber security from a complete organisational perspective.”


Mark Buckwell, Consulting and Systems Integration Practice Leader, IBM UK and Ireland, led the definition and development of the course content for this brand new module. “The Enterprise Cyber Security module was created to give students the opportunity to engage in architectural thinking in the design of enterprise IT security. By understanding how security is designed into core business practice, participants now have a vital kit bag of practical tools and techniques to apply in the workplace.”


Participants studying MSc Cyber Security and Management at WMG include professionals from a wide range of organisations, including senior professionals and project managers, as well as those starting out in their professional lives. They all, however, want to be prepared for the multitude of opportunities and risks that arise from a rapidly changing digital landscape.


Rebecca Falconer, Manager of Mergers and Acquisitions for Pharos Group Ltd and a student on the MSc Cyber Security and Management course said, “This module provided me with the opportunity to practise using the processes and tools I learned from IBM, which will be applied directly back into my working life.”  


The Cyber Security Centre at WMG also offers a range of cyber security focused bespoke and short courses.




About WMG University of Warwick

WMG was established by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer. WMG is a world leading research and education group and an academic department of the University of Warwick.


WMG has pioneered an international model for working with industry, commerce and public sectors and holds a unique position between academia and industry. The Group’s strength is to provide companies with the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by understanding a company’s strategy and working in partnership with them to create, through multidisciplinary research, ground-breaking products, processes and services.


Every year WMG provides education training to over 1,500 postgraduates, in the UK and through centres in China, India, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia. Students benefit from its first hand understanding of the issues facing modern industry. All tutors are highly qualified with a background in business or industry.


About IBM Security

IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organisations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research, development and delivery organisations, monitors 20 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and holds more than 3,000 security patents. For more information, please visit, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security blog