Cyber Security | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Cyber Security

Publication on TechWire Asia - "Cybersecurity experts in high demand, earn more"

THE demand for cybersecurity experts in emerging markets like Malaysia is so high that companies are turning their roles into highly lucrative careers and poaching students with job offers even before they graduate.
United Kingdom-based cyber-security firm Protection Group International (PGI) says IT professionals who upskill to specialise in security could easily see a 20 percent increase in pay, The Star reported.
“Demand is outgrowing supply and pushing up pay, as companies compete for the best talent,” PGI chief corporate development officer Sebastian Madden was quoted as saying.
“Malaysia has a huge pool of talent and is very strategically placed and we know many foreign students like to travel to learn in Malaysia,” added PGI UK’s Sebastian Madden explaining why signing the agreement with Malaysia is a sound strategic move.
He said globally, the demand for the experts rose exponentially as governments introduce regulations requiring mandatory cybersecurity measures in certain industries.
By 2020, the estimated global shortage in the field could reach a staggering 1.5 million worldwide.
To counter the shortage, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a government-owned overseeing the nation’s Multimedia Super Corridor, says it is looking to reduce the gap of 3,000 cybersecurity experts through two strategic initiatives under the Real Industry Driven Project Exchange (Pride) talent programme.
Together with PGI, MDEC has teamed up with Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) and local security solutions provider, TecForte Sdn Bhd, to increase the cybersecurity talent pool, according to the Malaysian Reserve.
“The partnership between industry players and the local educational institution will help identify the gaps in the industry and guide critical skill set development within the institution,” MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said during an agreement signing ceremony on the matter on Friday.
“This will also help to upskill cybersecurity industry talents and produce high-income professionals.”
By 2020, the estimated global shortage in the field could reach a staggering 1.5 million worldwide. Source: Shutterstock
A recent AT Kearney study on cybersecurity revealed the top 1,000 Southeast Asian companies could lose US$750 billion in market capitalisation amid cybersecurity concerns that could derail the region’s digital innovation agenda.
Southeast Asia’s digital economy is tipped to add some US$1 trillion to the regions gross domestic product (GDP) in the next ten years.
“However, the increasing wave of cyberthreats and risks could impede trust and resilience in the digital economy and prevent the region from realising its full digital potential,” Yasmin said.
“Looking at Malaysia, it has also seen strong economic growth in recent years and is determined to continue this trend to achieve the government’s vision of becoming a high-income nation.”

The entire article and photo above was published on Techwire Asia on Tuesday, 13 February 2018.


The Nation's Pride - ATOS IT Challenge 2016

We have all waited for this moment of glory! 

Muhammad Alkautsar Sanusi, Abdulhamid Ahmed Ali, Gamma Rizkinata Satriana and Syahmi bin Suleiman, Level 2 students of the BSc (Hons) in Information Technology with a specialism in Mobile Technology and BSc (Hons) in Information Technology with a specialism in Information Systems Security, who represented Asia & Malaysia as one of the Top 3 Finalists at the ATOS IT Challenge 2016 Global Finals, were crowned as 1st Runner Up in Paris, France on the 14th of June 2016. What’s more? They also bagged the Social Media Award, thanks to their active engagement with their followers on the social media.

The team, under the mentorship of Hemalata Vasudavan from the APU School of Technology (SoT), battled through 8 months of planning, research and development of the ‘Go n Gone’ mobile application – an application that allows social media monitoring, filtering and deletion of inappropriate content. It was a remarkable achievement by our undergraduate students, as they competed with other finalists from the UK and France, who were made up of postgraduate & PhD students respectively.

Click here to read the interview reports with the team and their mentors, Prof. Dr. Ir. Vinesh Thiruchelvam and Ms. Hemalata Vasudavan about their secret recipe to success.

Producing Malaysia’s Top Security & Forensic Specialists

Two student teams from the School of Computing and Technology (SCT) of Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) were crowned champions of the ‘Forensic Challenge’ and ‘Hack and Defense’ competitions at the recently concluded i-Hack 2016, which took place at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) from 23rd April to 24th April 2016.

The i-Hack 2016 attracted participation from students, practitioners, academicians and security experts from higher education learning institutions, related government bodies, security commissioners and IT professionals in security industry. 

The event was also endorsed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), F-Secure, Haibro, ITECH Specialist Solutions, Accrete Technologies and Quann Security.
The Forensic Challenge was a 10-hour competition that tested participants’ forensic computing skills through investigations, procedures and final presentation of a forensic report.

Meanwhile, the Hack and Defense challenge was a 8-hour score-based challenge in the ‘Capture the Flag’ format, in which participants competed to attain as many ‘flags’ and ‘coins’ as they can, through solving questions related to cyber security and forensics. 

APU’s Team ‘Sherlock’, comprising Khor Chia Ler, Chan Xin Wei and Soo Jia Cheng, mentored by Sulaiman Harun, attained the championship of the Forensic Challenge whereas team ‘SHA1337’, comprising Nicholas Ian Nonis, Choong Chih Xien and Alexander Sukhamera, mentored by Yusnita Yusof, was crowned champions of the Hack and Defense competition. Both APU teams walked away with a cash prize of RM7,000.
On the other hand, APU’s team ‘Nachos’, comprising Mohamed Siddiq Rahmat, Toong Chee Sheng and Syahmi bin Suleiman, mentored by Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman, also bagged the 2nd Runner Up of the Hack and Defense competition and walked away with a cash prize of RM1,000.

The teams of students who participated in the competition are students from APU’s School of Computing and Technology (SCT). With a proud track record and history of producing highly competent graduates in Computing going back to its origins as APIIT, APU’s School of Computing & Technology today provides offers pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Computing, IT, Software Engineering, Computer Science as well as in in the fields of Information Technology, highly specialised areas such as Cyber Security, Forensic Computing, Database Administration, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Big Data, Mobile Technology and more. 

APU's First Capture-the-Flag IT Security Competition 2016 (XCTF 2016)

The APU School of Technology and Cyber Security & Forensics Club (CSFC) with the sponsorship of e-Cop Surveillance Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, organized APU’s first Capture the Flag (CTF) IT security competition on Thursday, 28 January 2016.

The aims of the competition were to;

  • Expose students to near-real-world security challenges
  • Build a sustainable community to learn security 
  • Provide platform for students to excel their specialism

The Competition was in the format of Jeopardy; in which participants were required to solve as many security challenges as possible within the time limit. A total of 20 students took part in the challenge, which provided both students and lecturers a chance to improve their skills and widen their scopes by applying theory into practical means. The participants had the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to analyse examples of bad coding, to bypass security measures, and to know what should be done to avoid repeating mistakes. Participants were also introduced to many new topics and subjects which might not be covered in typical classes allowing easy expansion of knowledge without going for lectures and tests. 


Winner List:
Champion: n00bs - Alexander Sumahera (Diploma in Information Technology)
1st Runner Up: ThomasIsAvaliable - Toong Chee Sheng, Thomas Teoh Zi Eng, Mohammed Farook Bin Rafiuddin (Degree in IT Level 2)
2nd Runner Up: Sherlock - Khor Chia Ler, Soo Jia Cheng, Chan Xin Wei (Degree in IT Level 3)


Organising Committee
School of Technology (NSF Staff):

  1. Yusnita Yusof (Chair)
  2. Nurul Haniza Mohtar 
  3. Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman
  4. Sulaiman Harun
  5. Yogeswaran AL Nathan
  6. Khoo Li Jing 

Students’ Organizing Team:
Main organizer team / Challenge creators:

  1. Nicholas Ian Nonis TP034089
  2. Choong Chih Xien TP033739
  3. Goh Eu Gene TP034120

Event organizer team:

  1. Celine Deong Sim Yee (TP033597)
  2. Oh Yenyi (TP033656)

Network team:

  1. Daniel Raj S/O Divagaran (TP022419)
  2. Chu Jian Hao (TP030899)
  3. Nor Natasha Ashira Binti Shamsudin (TP035315)
  4. Mohamad Fahad Islam (TP034685)
  5. Yuan Yichao (TP032893)