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Celebration of Girls in ICT Day – MDX Dubai and Cisco host Women in Cybersecurity event


Last week in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, the Centre for Innovation and Excellence (CEI) at Middlesex University Dubai (MDX Dubai) and Cisco partnered to host the ‘Learn-A-Thon Introduction to Cybersecurity’ course. The free event, which was held on 22 April 2021 as part of Cisco’s global NetACad Learn-A-Thon initiative, focused on increasing the presence of women in IT and Cybersecurity.

A core objective of MDX Dubai’s contribution to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) includes making STEM education equitable for all. In line with the fifth SDG, which aims to achieve gender equality, we have taken the lead in organising numerous regional initiatives encouraging women and girls to engage in STEM and ICT. The Girls in ICT event is the latest in an ongoing series of conferences, hackathons, and awareness campaigns and was very well-received. We are also launching a new MSc programme in Cybersecurity and Pen Testing this September.

Featuring an esteemed panel of cybersecurity professionals from both MDX Dubai and Cisco as well as our students, last week’s event provided valuable insights from industry trailblazers into the trending topics in cybersecurity and how women in particular can pursue careers in the sector.

During the main panel discussion, moderated by Sadaf Khan, a Year 2 student on our BSc Information Technology course, attendees heard from three eminent women security specialists: Sally Harby, ME Regional Cybersecurity Account Manager and Cybersecurity Specialist at Cisco; Neha Malhotra, VP - Cyber security (Global Program Manager for Attack Surface Management) at Credit Suisse in Singapore; and Confidence Staveley, Cybersecurity Evangelist and Founder and Executive Director of the CyberSafe Foundation in Nigeria.

The lively discussions during the event covered a range of issues, from exploring how the panellists started in their respective IT careers to providing advice for aspiring candidates about they can navigate their career journeys. Speakers emphasized the growing importance of online security and best practices to follow in the digital world.

Our Deputy Directors Dr. Cody Paris and Dr. Tenia Kyriazi also spoke during the session, offering their support to various initiatives to encourage aspiring cybersecurity and ICT students.

In addition, the event recognised three of our students – Mohammed Farhan, Tina Thomas and Larisa Dsouza – who completed Cisco’s Introduction to Cybersecurity course. Speakers also shared more information about future courses and industry certifications that are available to MDX Dubai students.

The event was organised by Dr. Maha Saadeh and Santhosh Menon, lecturers in Middlesex University Dubai’s CIE department, under the guidance of Dr. Fehmida Hussain. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) also marked the session as a key event during this year’s Girls in ICT Day celebrations.

Thank you to Cisco for partnering with us to host this event, and congratulations to the students who completed the course!

Interested in developing your skills in cybersecurity? Find out more about our MSc Cybersecurity and Pen Testing course here.

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