New Cybersecurity Center comes online at precisely the right time at PMU

The global pandemic may have put some plans on hold, but has also highlighted the importance of a secure digital presence


AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia/PRNewswire/ -- As the world continues to become ever more dependent on digital presence, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University's (PMU) has established the Cybersecurity Center to develop trainings and curricula for students, faculty, and professionals to secure their vital virtual networks.

"The global pandemic may have put some plans on hold, but has also highlighted the importance of a secure digital presence. Universities contribute in terms of training the cybersecurity workforce and researching new security-related areas, concepts, and technologies," says PMU President. The turn of the decade has served as a catalyst for the increasing importance of I.T, and its security. Data online is not so simple to protect as just having a complicated password and changing it frequently, and no individual or community is immune from security breaches.

Personal data is that which is most commonly stolen. This can range from just a name or email address, to far more sensitive information such as credit card numbers or secure logins. Though anti-malware software's can help, they often provide a false sense of security rather than foolproof protection. "Security has become an inseparable part of the software development lifecycle," the Center Director says. "Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are also bringing more sophisticated methods for threat detection. However, at the same time, being weaponized by cybercriminals to develop complex malware and attack methods." Cognizance of such vulnerabilities is increasing, and the Center is building awareness through workshops, trainings, and focused Curricula. This mission is at the heart of the centers' offerings.

A first of many:

Trainings have included introduction to cybersecurity, cloud computing - data storage and computing power that is accessible over the internet - as well as certifications in "ethical hacking" (CEH).

International alliances have allowed the center to expand its available resources to include a number of trainings and seminars. Additionally, seminars have discussed the current state of Cybersecurity, challenges and opportunities for Saudi women in Cybersecurity, as well as the ideas and practices involved with ethical hacking.

Looking forward:

To prepare students, faculty, and professionals for the evolving nature of the virtual world and cybersecurity, the center's offerings include penetration testing certifications (CPENT), firewall configuration, Capture the Flag (CTF) skillset challenges, training for national and international competitions.

A state of the art lab is also under development for conducting hundreds of practical exercises and skill enhancement programs.

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