03 Oct 2012

7Safe and The Open University Launch Postgraduate Certificate in Security and Forensics

The Open University and 7Safe, part of PA Consulting Group, have announced the launch of a new stand-alone qualification in computer security and forensics.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Computing (Forensics and Security) is integrated with industry-accredited training, and aimed at IT professionals wishing to develop the skills necessary to counteract online criminal activity.

Phishing activity alone is estimated to cost £320m globally according to a recent MoD report*, with various estimates for the damages and cost of counteracting cyber criminals as whole in their billions. By enabling students to gain a greater level of technical and professional skills and helping them to understand, document, and manage strategic and operational aspects of an organisation’s security, the course will deliver to IT professionals the wide range of expertise required today to fight against cybercrime.

Modules of the course have been carefully designed to further develop and apply academic understanding and technical experience in computer forensics and information security management. Legal, social, ethical, professional, and organisational issues will all be covered as part of the course.

Prior to undertaking The Open University qualification, students are required to complete 150 hours from 7Safe’s security and forensics certification training courses. The time spent studying with 7Safe is fully recognised by The Open University against the study time requirements of the modules enabling students to progress rapidly towards achieving the qualification. The Postgraduate Certificate can also be used towards a range of Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters qualifications offered by The Open University.

7Safe’s Founder Alan Phillips said, “The programme recognises that security and forensic skills are increasingly needed in the on-going fight against cybercrime. 7Safe is planning to increase its international offering by establishing further training centres in PA offices worldwide.”

Kevin Streater, Head of IT Industry Engagement at The Open University, says: “The Open University is delighted to be able to work with 7Safe to develop an integrated solution that combines industry leading computer security and forensics training with the academic rigour that a university can provide. The new Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Security and Forensics is an ideal way for Cyber Security experts to gain an internationally recognised qualification that fully recognises their existing expertise.”

70% of students studying with the OU also work simultaneously. In addition, 4 of 5 FTSE companies sponsor OU students. Those interested in registering for the course can find out more information on

* Measuring the Cost of Cybercrime, see link (right)

Notes to the editor
About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 263,000 current students, including over 15,000 overseas.

The OU came top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey this year, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2011/12 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

About PA Consulting Group
PA Consulting is a firm of more than 2,000 people, specialising in management and IT consulting, technology and innovation. Independent and employee-owned, we operate globally from offices across Europe and the Nordics, the United States, the Gulf and Asia Pacific.

We work with businesses and governments to anticipate, understand and meet the challenges they face. We have outstanding technology-development capability and a unique breadth of skills, from strategy to performance improvement, from HR to IT. Our expertise covers energy, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, defence and security, transport and logistics, telecommunications, consumer goods and automotive.

About 7Safe
7Safe is a part of the PA Consulting Group and is a leading technical cyber consulting company, which specialises in accredited education, penetration testing, forensics, e-Discovery and PCI DSS.

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