Investing in cyber security for teaching, research


Sunway University’s Security Operations Centre Lab powered by RSA Security Netwitness platform is the first to be built in Malaysia.

WITH the enormous growth of e-commerce and readily digitally available data online, accuracy in processing and protection of data is truly imperative.

In line with this, Sunway University has invested RM3mil in to the CyberSecurity Intelligence (CSI) Labs for teaching, training and research in cybersecurity.

The CSI Labs consist of a data centre with a dedicated research network and server infrastructure.

It also has dual-display workstations and a training environment.

The first lab to be established is the Security Operations Centre Lab (SOC Lab) that runs industry-grade cybersecurity platform and services.

Sunway University’s students from the Department of Computing and Information Systems, School of Science will be able to experience state-of-the-art intelligent security analytics that provide threat detection and response solutions offered by RSA Security from the United States.

The RSA NetWitness Platform is an evolved Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – the centrepiece of an intelligent SOC – and threat detection and response solution that allows security teams to rapidly detect and respond to any threat, anywhere.

It serves as a single, unified platform for all security data; features an advanced analyst workbench for triggering alerts and incidents.

It uses machine learning to orchestrate and automate security operations programmes end to end.

The Lab is currently the first SOC Lab powered by the RSA Security NetWitness platform in private universities in Malaysia.

It is is part of Sunway University’s effort to provide real-world experience to students.

This is particularly for those enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Computer Networking and Security) programme.

The university provides the learning experience where students get to witness real incidents and scenarios of cybersecurity threats.

In this way, they can learn the best practices and use advanced platforms and tools to counter these threats.

New modules will be designed and added to existing computing programmes at the university to ensure graduates are equipped with the right skill-sets and mind-sets towards a safer inter-connected environment.

“The CSI Labs will serve as a platform to connect academia with the industry.

“It aims to be a vendor and technology agnostic platform to encourage exchange and collaboration between all parties.

“The CSI Labs is the result of a collaboration between Sunway University, Hitachi-Sunway Information Systems Sdn Bhd and Sunway Group IT.

“It is also supported by Pikom Cyber Security Chapter and is powered by the RSA Security NetWitness Platform, which is used in large international corporations as well as governments,” said Sunway University vice-chancellor Prof Graeme Wilkinson.

The project to build these specialised Labs was initiated by Sunway Group president Datuk Chew Chee Kin and supported by Education and Healthcare CEO Datuk Dr Lee Weng Keng and Sunway Education Group CEO Elizabeth Lee.

“The CSI Labs aim to develop future talents who will be well-equipped with the latest cybersecurity knowledge.

“We are committed to close the talent-gap in the area of cybersecurity in Malaysia and the region.

“In the pipeline, the Labs look forward to organising events such as talks or short training programmes related to cybersecurity updates and awareness for the community in and beyond Sunway City,” said Assoc Prof Dr Lau Sian Lun, Associate Dean and Head, Department of Computing and Information Systems.

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