Because information is valuable and powerful, some individuals and organisations would even have to steal it - which is termed as a cyber attack.
Cyber threat: an economic and national security challenge
Cyber attack, another sophisticated form of stealing, is an attempt by hackers to attack business networks by accessing company secrets and confidential strategies thereby creating huge losses for the overall economy.
Every company is at risk and even big names are not immune.
Some of the world's largest information leaks happened in banks and insurance companies. In 2014, JP Morgan Chase, US's largest bank, was compromised by hackers, stealing names, addresses, phone numbers and emails of account holders. The hack began in June but was not discovered until July when the hackers had already obtained the highest level of administrative privilege to dozens of the bank's computer servers.
Likewise, Anthem, US's second-largest health insurer, was hacked in 2015. Names, dates of birth, social security numbers, phone numbers and relevant information was stolen.
Malaysia is not immune to cyber attacks. The hacktivist group called Anonymous has threatened to launch an all-out Internet war against Malaysia government portals in light of 1MDB scandal.
A look into Computer System Security
In response to the growing number of cyber attacks, UPNM (National Defence University of Malaysia), established in 2006, offers a bachelor's programme in computer system security as well as certified courses in ethical hacking and computer hacking forensic investigation. Students who are interested in cyber warfare and military simulation will find UPNM's courses robust.
The computer system security course enables students to grasp concepts and issues as well as the technologies and methods in maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of a computer system or network.
Integrated within the curriculum, the Department of Computer Science of UPNM has partnered with EC-Council (International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants), a professional certification organization that offers certified courses in IT security. Students of UPNM are encouraged to take these professional certification in ethical hacking and computer hacking forensic investigation which are recognized by governments and international organizations worldwide.
To complement the bachelor’s programme, the university also offers continued learning opportunities for its graduates. Its one-year master’s programme in computer science is available in full- and part-time study mode, and is suitable for young working professionals who wish to enhance and create new knowledge in the fields of network security, cyber centric warfare, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and knowledge management.
Being an acknowledged centre for research and postgraduate studies, UPNM offers the best learning experience and research opportunities for students who wish to become leaders of their respective expertise.