Learn how privacy, security fit in

Students who want to get into the cyber security field must be problem-solvers, says Prof Goel.

RESEARCH opportunities are aplenty in the field of cyber security.

Prof Rajni Goel, from the School of Business at Howard University in the United States (US), says there are strong research ties between computer science, information systems and security, as all these sectors are linked together.

“On top of that, business managers and people who are developing websites need to understand where privacy and security fit in,” she tells StarEducate after delivering a talk on cyber security in Universiti Malaya recently.

All these collaborations are needed to create a safe and “peaceful” cyber ecosystem, she explains.

She says that in order to make a complete technological solution, “security needs to be baked into the actual development” of the product.

This is where computer science, information systems and security experts have to work together, she adds.

Prof Goel describes cyber security as “protecting your cyber assets from intentional or unintentional modification or leakage.”

She is a professor and former chair of the Information Systems and Supply Chain Management Department in the university.

Prof Goel also served as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar conducting research and assisting in curriculum development in the area of cyber security in India in 2016.

Students wanting to get into the cyber security field must be problem-solvers, she says in a heartbeat.

“You don’t have to be a coder, this isn’t a necessary skill,” adds Prof Goel.

She also says someone who is in cybersecurity must be critical-thinkers.

“You really have to be able to look, analyse and synthesise what you see in the system and data,” she says.

She says the banking industry is a key area where talent with cyber security knowledge is needed.

“The hub of a financial sector is their technology because they have to develop solutions that the consumers can now use such as mobile banking,” she says, adding that without proper security measures in place, the customer will be vulnerable to cyber security attacks.

“So the jobs in the security domain are all about assessing the systems to make sure the vulnerabilities aren’t there and then understanding where tools to protect are needed.

“Every company is going to need that,” she adds.

Prof Goel also says cyber security, like almost every field, is one where you’re constantly learning.

“You have to be dynamic and you won’t stagnate because there is always new algorithms and systems you have to protect,” she adds.

“For example, the cloud wasn’t there before. But now, security specialists have to understand the cloud and how to protect it,” she explains.

Prof Goel was in Malaysia as part of the US Embassy’s Speaker programme which engaged with several audiences including women NGOs, Bank Negara, Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia to discuss cloud and social media security and railway security.

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