University of Sunderland academics leading fight against cyber crime

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Academics on Wearside are to help lead the fight against cyber crime.

The University of Sunderland is one of eight across the UK to recieve a £29,000 Government grant to train an army of cyber security experts.

Dr Alastair Irons, head of the Department of Computing, Engineering and Technology at the University of Sunderland.

Dr Alastair Irons, head of the Department of Computing, Engineering and Technology at the University of Sunderland.

According to Government research, the average cost of the most severe online security breaches for big businesses is now about £1.4million – up from £600,000 in 2014.

The university grant is for problem-based learning (PBL) and comes after the Higher Education Academy (HEA) teamed up with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) to provide grants to innovative proposals from higher education providers.

Professor Alastair Irons, Professor of Computer Science at the university, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the grant which will allow us to develop our innovative and radically-different approach to teaching cyber security through problem-based learning.

“We won for a number of reasons – our past experience in developing and evaluating PBL for cyber security teaching and learning, our desire to be innovative and our approach to including students in the learning process.

“The project will take the form of the development of a range of PBL teaching resources, student-led workshops, staff development events and a PBL conference on cyber security.

“We will be working closely with Government agencies, businesses and industry in addressing the cyber security skills gap.  

“The legacy will be a set of resources, better cyber-security learning experience for students and more highly-skilled graduates who will be able to address the cyber security challenges in society.”