Cybersecurity: Prepping Future Talent

As emerging technologies are increasingly used, the cyberthreat landscape has become vast, and the next generation of cybersecurity professionals need to possess different skills. Luxmi Dhirani emphasizes the importance of continuous learning in staying up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities. To prepare for the latest trends, she believes the education system must advance accordingly, with the pandemic already accelerating the process. In addition, Luxmi Dhirani believes that future cybersecurity professionals will need to have expertise in data storage and processing, cloud security, AI, and quantum security.

The education sector plays a critical role in preparing the next generation of cybersecurity talent to keep up with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. According to Dr Lubna Luxmi Dhirani, a lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Limerick (UL), cybersecurity is undoubtedly one of the areas with the most critical skills gap within the tech sector. She teaches on the cybersecurity practitioner apprenticeship programme and is course director for the BSc in Cybersecurity programme at UL, which aims to help build a strong cybersecurity talent pipeline.

A report at the end of 2022 suggested that Ireland had reduced its cybersecurity skills gap, but the rest of the world had not been as successful. The report revealed a substantial jump in the size of the global workforce gap to 3.4m – up from 2.7m the previous year.

The apprenticeship programme is a level eight programme that provides a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training in cybersecurity. This programme will enable the apprentice to develop systems using cognitive computing, the IoT, cloud computing, computer forensics/data retrieval processes, and more. Additionally, they will be skilled in building security systems along with investigating and implementing key security measures, undertaking risk analysis and analysis of security breaches.

The BSc in Cybersecurity and IT forensics programme focuses on networking, data security, cloud computing and IoT. This course teaches students the ethical side of hacking so that hackers can be detected and stopped. With the Covid-19 situation in the world today, security of communications has become very important and is achieving lots of attention from hackers.

Dr Lubna Luxmi Dhirani believes that cybersecurity is an integral and inclusive part of Ireland’s digital economy, and it is essential to keep up with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. With her contribution to the UL cybersecurity programmes, she is preparing the next generation of cybersecurity talent to face the challenges of the future.

Luxmi Dhirani, a lecturer at the University of Limerick in Ireland, has an extensive background in the cybersecurity industry, including a PhD in cloud computing standards and work on securing machine-to-machine communications in industry 4.0. However, with the constantly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, she emphasizes the importance of staying up to date.

As cybersecurity becomes increasingly vital to Ireland’s digital economy, Luxmi Dhirani believes that students need industry-focused projects to prepare them for real-time industry problems and to develop skills to solve them. With escalating geopolitical cyber risks affecting human lives and the pandemic acting as a catalyst for increased dependencies and transitions to digital technologies, she believes it is essential to be proactive and build cyber resilience within an infrastructure.

Luxmi Dhirani is the first Women in Engineering (WIE) ambassador from Ireland in the IEEE WIE UK and Ireland section. She personally understands the challenges of pursuing a career in STEM, coming from a conservative community in Pakistan where very few women pursued careers in STEM. As an ambassador for women in engineering, she is passionate about breaking the bias within the STEM field and encourages girls to pursue STEM fields through workshops and technical sessions.

Luxmi Dhirani teaches on the cybersecurity practitioner apprenticeship program and is course director for the BSc in Cybersecurity program at UL, which aims to build a strong cybersecurity talent pipeline. The apprenticeship program provides a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training in cybersecurity. After the completion of the program, the apprentice will be capable of developing systems using cognitive computing, the IoT, cloud computing, computer forensics/data retrieval processes, and more.

The BSc in Cybersecurity and IT forensics program focuses on networking, data security, cloud computing, and IoT. This course teaches students the ethical side of hacking so that hackers can be detected and stopped. With the Covid-19 situation in the world today, security of communications has become very important and is achieving lots of attention from hackers.

Luxmi Dhirani believes that cybersecurity is an integral and inclusive part of Ireland’s digital economy, and it is essential to keep up with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. With her contribution to the UL cybersecurity programs, she is preparing the next generation of cybersecurity talent to face the challenges of the future.

As emerging technologies are increasingly used, the cyberthreat landscape has become vast, and the next generation of cybersecurity professionals need to possess different skills. According to Luxmi Dhirani, continuous learning is key to staying up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities. To keep students up to date, she discusses the latest cyberattack scenarios and topics during lectures and adds them to the e-learning discussion platform. Luxmi Dhirani believes that future cybersecurity professionals will need to have expertise in data storage and processing, cloud security, and AI.

The increasing amount of data that will be stored and processed through cloud platforms by 2030 will require massive data requirements and new ways to protect digital environments. Furthermore, with advancing AI technology, misuse of AI in cybersecurity raises valid concerns and will potentially open new security exploits. Luxmi Dhirani believes that quantum security will be the real game-changer. However, the technology hasn’t been fully realized yet, the standards are still being developed, and there are many possibilities and risks associated with quantum technology.

The education system must advance to prepare for these trends, and the pandemic has already accelerated the process. Luxmi Dhirani stated that the pandemic has transformed conventional learning and delivery models to new e-learning platforms and assessment methods. Therefore, building programming, technical, and cyber knowledge base from school years is critical to keep up with evolving technology and security risks.

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