The School of Management, Information Technology and Governance staff and students learned to develop solutions through demo security applications to safeguard web applications against various vulnerabilities and attacks during a week-long workshop.
The intensive Application Security Analyst programme was organised by the Discipline of Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) in partnership with the global multinational technology company, IBM.
The cutting-edge, certified programme involved 30 trainees who created and launched common attacks to web applications such as Brute Force, cross-site scripting, SQL Injection, insecure direct object reference, sensitive data exposure creating real life scenarios encountered in the IT industry.
IS&T staff members and IBM certified instructors Mr Stephen Akandwanaho and Mr Deepak Kumar said while it was their first such programme, they were very pleased with the results as more than 80% of the trainees passed the certification examination.
‘The scenarios gave participants hands-on experience through the IBM cloud labs with applications created by IBM to launch demo security attacks,’ said Akandwanaho. ‘Trainees were able to create vulnerabilities in web applications, scan the web applications using AppScan Standard to be able to detect the vulnerabilities created and then implement various measures to mitigate the vulnerabilities in the applications. This provided them with expertise on how to scan applications for vulnerabilities, analyse reports and implement the report recommendations which is what they will have to do when they join the IT sector.’’
Third year IS&T student, Mr Kyle Bedderson, said being part of the programme had given him a glimpse of the practical world of IT he was keen to be a part of after completing his studies.
‘It was a real eye opener to learn about the security flaws of websites and applications we use daily and come up with solutions to these challenges. Although I am not sure exactly what career I want to pursue after my BCom degree, the knowledge I gained from this experience will be valuable to me in the IT field,’ he said.
Fellow student Ms Aleka Barath described the experience as enlightening as her future career aspects include working in cyber security.
‘Being part of the training was amazing as in a week we learnt a lot and gained very extensive theory and practical experience which really broadened my knowledge of web applications and cyber security,’ said Barath.
IS&T’s Academic Leader Mr Karna Naidoo said the programme provided students with world class training experience, preparing them to be competitive and succeed in the IT industry.
‘We believe that the integration of IBM courses provides students with a rich experience helping them to be market ready in areas including security, business analytics, and mobile computing.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo