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UNSW’s SECedu pilot program a gateway to mastering cyber security

CBA is putting 50 staff “from all over the bank” through a 12-week masters-level course at UNSW as part of a pilot program designed to train a new cohort of cyber security professionals.

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Fri, 29 Apr 2022
UNSW’s SECedu pilot program a gateway to mastering cyber security
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The university’s Richard Buckland, professor of cyber security and cyber terrorism, will be leading the program, which comes under a long-running SECedu partnership between CBA and UNSW.

Cyber security skills are in short supply across the industry, and have been for so long that in 2015, SECedu was established to train graduates.

As Adam Smallhorn, who conducts cyber outreach at CBA, explained on LinkedIn, the latest program attracted interest from staff all over the bank.


We have senior leaders in cyber, risk managers, change managers, talent acquisition partners, behavioural analytics specialists, members of our scams team, branch managers, institutional bankers, private bankers, cloud specialists, engineers and fraud specialists, Smallhorn wrote.

Based on UNSW Onlines Foundations of Cyber Security, the course is the same context and examination, but taught at half-pace to accommodate the work schedules of the enrolled staff members.

One-third of the staff undertaking the course are senior managers, and around 60 per cent have roles outside of cyber security.

At the end of the initial 12-week program which began in March, students will have the option to continue on into a full masters program.

For those already in cyber – we hope it consolidates existing knowledge, Smallhorn wrote.

For those outside of cyber or who work closely with us, we hope it brings context to why cyber security is so important, and of course we hope this course can be a stepping stone for those who hope to pick up a career in cyber security in the future.

According to Smallhorn, the course Buckland has created covers thoughtful challenges, a focus on curiosity, a series of fascinating case studies and a laser-like focus on the analysis of how and why systems fail.

As well as Professor Buckland, Professor Michael Johnson and tutors Evangeline Endacott, Sabina Streatfeild (both of whom also work for CBA), and Shantanu Kulkarni are delivering the course, Smallhorn wrote.

The bank has reportedly invested $2.3 million in SECedu since 2016.

[Related: Check Point appoints new ANZ MD]

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