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Tampere University and Deloitte are building a more cyber-resilient society

Published on 22.8.2023
Tampere University
, Hannu Kasanen (Deloitte) ja Bilhanan Silverajan (Tampereen yliopisto), sekä Deloitten kyberriskipalveluiden vetäjä Karthi Pillay
The faces of the cooperation Hannu Kasanen (Deloitte) and Bilhanan Silverajan (Tampere University), as well as Deloitte’s Cyber Risk leader Karthi Pillay, met at an event organized by Deloitte in May, setting the stage for continued collaboration.
As digital technology evolves and data grows exponentially, countries, societies and individuals are facing new challenges. At the same time, organisations are suffering from a significant lack of cybersecurity experts. These overlapping issues bring Tampere University and the global professional services organisation Deloitte together. Deloitte helps to educate university students on cyber risks and cyber professions. Both parties emphasise that cyber is much more than hacking and technology, and it is ultimately about people.

Deloitte and Tampere University began collaborating a few years ago when Postdoctoral Research Fellow Bilhanan Silverajan organised Cyber Security Mornings at the university as a discussion forum for key cybersecurity challenges and strategies among industry partners, domain experts and researchers.

Deloitte was one of the organisations that sent speakers to the events. In the collaboration with Tampere University, Deloitte provides its expertise in cybersecurity. Since then, the collaboration has extended. Now Deloitte gives guest lectures in two courses: Cybersecurity II: Specialisation and The Internet of Things. Deloitte’s role especially in Cybersecurity II is extensive.

Providing knowledge of cyber and the careers in the field

The mutual goal for Silverajan and Hannu Kasanen, Director of Cyber Risk at Deloitte, is to bring more cybersecurity experts into the field and raise awareness of the matter in general.

Through collaboration, Tampere University gets an opportunity to show students what it means to work in cyber on a concrete level and what the important issues are companies look for in their future employees. Deloitte, on the other hand, gets an opportunity to introduce itself to much needed future interns and employees.

“The emphasis in the collaboration is to provide the students with information on the way cybersecurity knowledge is applied in different industries and companies. With guest lectures, we present what the companies in the field are looking for in their future employees – who are possibly our students – and the different dimensions of working in the field worldwide”, Silverajan says.

Kasanen stresses the impact of the ever-increasing cyber threats:

“Cyber resilience has become a crucial aspect of living and doing business in the digital world. Most nations and organisations are under constant cyber-attacks. We need more talented individuals to keep up with the cyber criminals and nation state actors. We, the cyber professionals, must help educate the next generation to ensure the future success of our society,” Kasanen points out.

Cybersecurity is much more than just technology

According to Kasanen, accelerating digitisation and automation bring advantages to organisations, but also makes them more vulnerable to cyber threats.

“That is why cybersecurity has become a crucially important part of organisations’ strategy to ensure the continuity of operations, including production facilities, logistics, and so forth. We want to help develop the cyber security of Finnish organisations and society so they can succeed in the future as well”, Kasanen emphasises.

Cybersecurity experts are needed in many domains and areas which is why different backgrounds are appreciated in the field. Both Silverajan and Kasanen emphasise that cyber is much more than technology.

“The Cybersecurity II course covers the standards in the field, what kinds of security practices companies should have, and how to consider data privacy issues. It also aims to show the correct level of security awareness and how the common problems can be avoided. However, we also have more advanced ‘traditional’ cyber security topics that focus on the technology side”, Silverajan says.

“Organisations need a mix of cyber skills to succeed: experts with deep technical skills but also cyber-savvy leaders and business-minded cyber strategists. It is equally important to understand, for example, human behaviour and how to effectively communicate with different audiences,” Kasanen clarifies.

Cyber threats are global by nature

Cyber is affecting everything which is why cybersecurity matters should concern everyone, whether it is making secure choices in online shopping or protecting personal or employer data from vulnerabilities. Deloitte has the large ambition of making Finland a secure society.

“Cybersecurity is also about enabling children and society to grow and thrive. Investing in cybersecurity helps build trust among citizens, gain a competitive advantage, and develop better products and services. We at Deloitte feel that it is our responsibility to help educate the younger generation on cyber risks and the cyber profession,” Kasanen says.

The importance of the topic has been widely recognised and the number of students registered in the courses has more than doubled in a couple of years. The courses have also received much positive feedback from the students.

“Every guest lecturer is different and represents a different company or area of cybersecurity to give a fresh look into how cybersecurity is applied in real workplaces. Because of the international nature of the courses, the learning can be applied anywhere in the world,” Silverajan emphasises.

“Cyber threats are global and borderless by nature. Cross-border collaboration is a key to addressing them effectively,” Kasanen concludes.

Text: Essi Niemenmaa