Aug. 08, 2012

BGU will become the first Israeli university to offer graduate study tracks in cybersecurity, a joint initiative with the Departments of Information Systems Engineering and Computer Science.

“Our goal is to prepare graduates who can contribute to the national effort in cyber defense, and prepare Israeli researchers to lead world research in this area,” says Prof. Bracha Shapira, director of the BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering, noting the proliferation of related units in the Israel Defense Forces and the prime minister’s announcement earlier this year to advance cyber-security nationwide.  “We believe there is a demand for this in defense and many other industries.”

The master’s degree in information systems engineering with a specialization in cybersecurity was developed to the meet the growing need for security experts in Israel and worldwide as a key component in protecting national infrastructures and global economic institutions. The areas of focus include Network Security, Attack Identification Methods, Cryptography, Development of Secure Systems and Security of Operation Systems.   

The curriculum is designed primarily for students holding a bachelor's degree in information system engineering, software engineering, computer science, or communication systems engineering, who meet the admission requirements for a Master’s degree in the related fields.   Studies include performing research, writing an original thesis, and completing eight advanced mandatory courses.

“Today we can’t identify precisely who our enemies are as they are very diverse,” Shapira explains.  “The goal is to understand how to protect ourselves and to test the vulnerabilities of other systems when necessary.”

The initiative is part of the University’s Homeland Security Institute to broaden teaching and research in this critical area. New technologies are being developed to safeguard Israel’s “virtual environment” with a focus on cyber-security and telecommunications.  BGU’s expert academic emergency medicine department, the only one in the country, prepares for disasters and works to increase the social well-being of Israeli society at large.