Cyber student gets hands-on experience and secures employment
A University of Wolverhampton student has been getting some hands-on work experience which has boosted his skills and landed him a job in the cyber sector.
Timothy Davis, 20 from Telford, has been working with local company, Apreco Ltd, based in Worcester. The company produces air pressure stabiliser and pressure relief vents and approached University academics working at the Midlands Quarter – Centre for Cyber Security based at Skylon Park on the Hereford Enterprise Zone, for help with a cyber risk assessment.
Cyber lecturer, Tony Proctor, secured a practical placement for Timothy, who is a third year Cyber Security degree student studying in the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University’s City Campus in Wolverhampton. His remit was to carry out a cyber risk assessment for Apreco for his final year project.
Timothy said: “I worked on the project for 10 hours a week and my remit was to carry out a cyber risk assessment for the company – looking at their systems architecture, identifying any cyber risks and giving advice on how to mitigate these.
“The company was looking to apply for the government approved Cyber Essentials Certification but my risk assessment was much wider than that and I looked at bigger risks, whilst making every effort to help get the company certified.
“The project really helped with my course work as risk assessment is a big part of cyber security and my learning really informed what I was doing at work. It’s really important that companies focus on people in relation to risk – people are your biggest weakness, and my recommendations are that companies invest in educating staff in relation to cyber risks which will help protect them even further.
“I think that the experience gained during this project has really helped me secure a job, and although I felt nervous about it at the start it has given me confidence to take on assignments with clients.”
Mike Hodges, Managing Director at Apreco, said: “Apreco entered this project with an open mind, although we have an IT support contract with a local firm. It was important for us to understand where we are currently and perhaps more importantly where we should be, while looking to obtain Cyber Essentials Certification.
“Timothy worked with us to understand our IT set-up whilst focussing on our policies and systems regarding Cyber security. The findings of the Cyber Security Health Check have already made us put changes in place with two-factor authentication on all user devices being implemented next week. So, from a business owners’ perspective, it was time well spent.”
Timothy will graduate later this year and has secured a digital forensics role with business process services and solutions company Conduent. His role in the company’s Legal, Compliance and Analytics business will involve time sensitive data collection, forensic analysis and processing of corporate electronically stored information and other related data.
Tony Proctor said: “My aim is to get our students out working with businesses in order for them to gain first-hand experience but also to offer benefits to the business with effective cybersecurity advice.
“This year I gave my students a choice in their assessment, they could either use a case study or work with a real company. Tim opted for the latter. There are sometimes questions around the relevance of a graduate education in meeting industry needs. I think it is clear that our students are receiving an education directly linked to the needs of industry.”
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