"University Grants Commission (UGC) launched new Cyber Security and Data Protection programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels."
On the occasion of Cyber Jaagrookta Diwas 2022, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched new Cyber Security and Data Protection programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels. UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar spoke, at the launch event, about the importance of cyber security in today's day and age.
“Cyber security as a subject must be incorporated at graduation and postgraduation levels in all streams. The syllabus of these courses aims to create aware, responsive, and responsible digital citizens, thereby contributing effectively to an overall healthy cybersecurity posture and ecosystem,” emphasised the UGC Chairman.
The syllabus modules for both PG as well as the UG cyber security courses have been released by the UGC. The main objective of these modules is to increase awareness regarding data protection and cyber security among the youth. UGC chairman urged higher education institutes to hold workshops and tutorial classes conducted by experts from the field of IT, Data Protection and Cyber Security.
Other eminent personalities like the Deputy Secretary of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Deepak Virmani, were also present at the event and spoke about preventing cybercrime and executing safe cyberspace.
Importance of Cyber Security in the Education Sector
With booming technologies come bigger threats, as hackers find sophisticated ways to carry out multiple cybercrimes. Schools and higher education institutions have lately become the target of many such cyber-attacks.
In 2016, the University of Calgary faced a security breach due to a ransomware attack. Two years later, in 2018, in several Blackpool schools, the CCTV footage was leaked on a U.S. website due to a security breach on their servers.
The educational sector is particularly vulnerable to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, often performed by amateur cyber criminals. If the school’s network is not secure enough, it allows for the convenient theft of data that can be used to sell information or as a tool to extort money. Such was the case at UC Berkeley in 2008, where cybercriminals stole approximately 160,000 medical records over a duration of time.
Presently the primary method to stay safe is to increase awareness about cyber security and adopt cyber hygiene. Even rudimentary training for all the users of an educational institute's network can go a long way to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks.
Higher private institutions and universities that handle huge sums of student fees can also adopt user-friendly multi-factor authentication (MFA) tools that prove to be a highly economical yet safe way to secure oneself against cybercrime. In conclusion, such courses being taught at the university level will allow the next generation to widen their horizons, secure their ventures and excel in their careers.
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