Cyber Skills Category – MTU Faculty of Engineering & Science Awards

This piece was contributed by Laura Bolster, Cyber Skills Project Coordinator

The Munster Technological University Faculty of Engineering & Science Awards recognise and celebrate students who have shown academic excellence throughout the year. For the first time this year, Cyber Skills had a category, honouring three students who excelled in their chosen pathway. 

Each student shared their experience of studying with Cyber Skills and the value the pathways provided them. 

Cyber Skills Award Winner Profiles

Secure Software Development,  Pauline Finlay, Edgescan, sponsored by Cyber Ireland

“Having seen first-hand the damage caused through data loss because of a simple phishing attack, I decided on a career change and returned to TUD to study Digital Forensics & Cyber Security. After graduating with a BSc (Hons) I started as a security analyst with Edgescan where I am currently part of a team dedicated to improving client application and system security.

Following on from my degree studies, I was seeking an opportunity to expand my knowledge of secure coding practices, particularly in terms of web applications. The course is delivered language independent allowing each student to focus on the actual coding weaknesses and vulnerabilities and the best practices for their remediation rather than on an unfamiliar coding language. The course not only covers the good coding practices but also how system vulnerabilities can impact the security posture of an organisation in terms of professional standards.

I discovered the Cyber Skills Secure Software Development pathway through a Cyber Ireland link and after attending a virtual introduction to the course and listening to what the lecturers had to say about the course decided it would be the perfect opportunity to expand my skills in this area”.

Secure Systems Architecture – David O’Reilly, Mastercard

“I started off my career in an operational support role ensuring applications remained accessible and highly available. On commencement of the Cyber Skills pathway, I was working in an Infrastructure/Solution Architect role where I worked designing infrastructure/middleware solutions for many of Shared & Harness components at Mastercard. 

Recently I have moved into a new role, Manager of System Platform Architecture at Mastercard, managing a global team of 10 Infrastructure Design Architects, while remaining a technical manager.

I heard about Cyber Skills through an initiative at work. After reading through the
prospectus, I really liked the sound of the modules and material covered in the different
pathways as they would be very relevant to my role. The structure of the pathways and the online nature of the Cyber Skills courses also appealed to me, this would allow for a more flexible education experience.

The Secure System Architecture pathway provides in-depth training and knowledge on how to ensure solutions are designed / architected with security fundamentals at the core. As a professional working in an Infrastructure architecture role this pathway caught my eye, as it would provide me knowledge and experience that I could use in my everyday role. 

The knowledge and experience I gained while completing the Cyber Skills pathway will
provide a positive impact on my career. It has provided me with the core fundamentals of Secure System Architecture and given me an understanding of how to ensure that security is at the core of any solutions I am involved in designing. It has also enabled me to assist team members ensuring their designs adhere to industry security standards”.

Secure Network Operations – Chloe Rocks, Dell

“I graduated in 2020 in BEng Computer Science from Queens University Belfast and started remotely in Dell Technologies as a Cybersecurity Analyst in Infrastructure Management in
May 2021.

In June 2022, I made the change over to the Network Security team, and I am
now working in Policy Hygiene which focuses on firewall clean-up and automation.

I was made aware of this opportunity through my leadership within Dell Technologies, who have always prioritised the continual development of its staff and was generous to sponsor myself and several colleagues to undertake the Cyber Skills pathway of our choice. I was particularly excited to study a Cyber Skills pathway.

Not only is it developed in collaboration with industry partners such as Dell Technologies and Mastercard, but it was also provided by Munster Technological University, which made it stand out to me compared to other
possible courses/certifications.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Cyber Skills student; the lecturers were very
knowledgeable in their field and made a point to make the information as up to date as
possible; particularly Dr. O’Mahony who updated us on current threats and attacks as they happened in real-time and how they could possibly be counteracted/prevented. The lab environments were very well developed, and the course content as a whole felt very relevant to my workplace.

I believe I gained valuable skills and knowledge undertaking this pathway, and it has
broadened my view of network security as a whole. I am very interested in further Cyber Skills pathways in the future, and I think it will become a worthy qualification to hold”.

For more information the courses and pathways offered by Cyber Skills, visit their website