Cyber Security Student’s Honours Project set to be used by GCU to help students stay safe online

Mon, 22 Mar 2021 16:19:00 GMT
(Left to right) Kyle Williamson & the Honours Project website prototype
(Left to right) Kyle Williamson & the Honours Project website prototype

A GCU student is developing a cyber-security awareness website as part of his Honours Project, which is set to be shared by the University once it has been submitted.

Fourth year Cyber Security & Networks student Kyle Williamson is in the process of developing a website prototype designed to educate students about how to stay safe against cyber-attacks.

With cyber security breaches being a prominent issue in the current times, GCU has decided to use Kyle’s project and share it with students once it has been completed.

Kyle understood that his chosen topic was very relevant in today’s times. He said: “After reading through some of the suggested topics we had been provided, I decided that these were not of interest to me.

I began brainstorming a few topics and looking through some of the topics we touched upon in previous classes. It was then I came across social engineering attacks which we had looked at before within our ethical hacking class.

After reading into it more and looking at a few studies carried out by other researchers it was evident that students were now at high risk and something had to be done. I wanted to do my part, so I decided this was the topic for me.”

He added: “Once my project supervisor (Dr Jackie Riley) had seen the website prototype I had created for educating students on social engineering, she proposed the idea of possibly pushing this out to a larger scale of students. She explained how this could be something looked into once the project is complete as it would only be beneficial to the University and its students.”

Kyle believes that it’s a crucial time for students, especially in relation to online safety. He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many unprecedented challenges since its outbreak. One of these being the shift from classroom learning to online learning (e-learning) as well as people having to work from home.

Due to this shift, a large majority of students and employees make use of computer technology daily to carry out their studies or work. For instance, students may have to carry out online lessons, communicate using emails, access their educational institution's website, converse with fellow students across social media platforms, download new software, etc.

For this reason, it is more important than ever that the necessary actions are taken to keep students and their online data protected from malicious attackers, as they will see this as a great opportunity to exploit any sign of weakness and vulnerability from online users.”

Kyle was very pleased knowing that his university wanted to share his work. He said: “I feel honoured to have the chance for my project and findings to be utilized by the university as this isn’t something everybody experiences.

Hopefully, it can educate and broaden the awareness of social engineering to students, and in doing so reduce the amount of successful social engineering attacks. Even if it just helps educate one person about online safety, then that’s one step closer to eliminating cyber-crime.”

You can be a part of Kyle’s study by filling out his online website test.


By Rachael McAlonan

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