With Canada recording the third most cyber incidents in the world last year as well as the highest average cost of a breach, it appears cybercriminals will have Canada top of mind for 2019. Experts promise that the number of cyberattacks will continue to increase and exploit those who are most vulnerable. The prevalence and high costs associated with cybercrimes have also prompted government and businesses to commit to tackling the issue of cybersecurity.
Prioritizing this industry need, BCIT has launched Canada’s first full-time, two-year diploma program in Industrial Network Cybersecurity with the first cohort beginning September 2019. This program will provide graduates with network security skills for technology on the industrial side of an organization. Students will gain practical experience in defending network systems through interactive, hands-on scenarios.
“The BCIT Industrial Network Cybersecurity program is the first of its kind in Canada and fills a significant skills-gap in the cybersecurity industry,” said Dr. Forrest Tittle, Dean of the BCIT School of Energy. “In a time where cybersecurity is a growing problem for Canadians, the students that graduate from this program will be key in combating cybersecurity threats in plant operations.”
Bridging a gap in cybersecurity for plant operations
Many industrial organizations can be divided into two distinct entities – plant operations and business operations. For instance, the day-to-day operation of a power plant and its associated office operations. A cyberattack on the plant operations can be much more costly, irreversible, and detrimental to business continuity than a cyberattack on business operations.
The technology commonly used in industrial plant operations employs hardware, operating systems, and Ethernet-based networking interfaces that make them susceptible to the same cyberattacks that plague traditional business operations. This has created a significant need for skilled network security professionals that understand the unique computing and networking requirements of industrial control systems.
Industrial Network Cybersecurity graduates will enter the workforce with effective critical thinking skills in industrial networking technology and choose from a diverse array of industry segments ranging from engineering consulting firms, food-and-beverage processing plants, manufacturing companies, and more.
BCIT is now accepting applications for the first September 2019 cohort. Learn more about the program.
Note to media: To interview a BCIT faculty on the Industrial Network Cybersecurity program, please contact Jocelyne Leszczynski.
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