The St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and political representatives presented the new Cyber Defense Center of the St. Pölten UAS
In order to better prepare students for the challenges of the business world, the St. Pölten UAS has established a Cyber Defense Center. The center was presented at a joint press conference by Governor of Lower Austria Johanna Mikl-Leitner, St. Pölten Mayor Matthias Stadler, Simon Tjoa from the Department of Computer Science and Security, and graduate Richard Thron, Head of Information Security at Doka.
Competence in Defense against Cyber Attacks
“For politics, the economy and employees, digitalisation bears an incredible number of opportunities,” said the Governor. On the other hand, our society is increasingly exposed to dangers such as cybercrime. In 2021, a new high in this area was reported with 46,000 cases, she continued. “Only 20 per cent of Austria's large and medium-sized enterprises say they have a crisis plan for cyberattacks. In the meantime, however, it is no longer a question of whether one is affected by a cyberattack, but much rather when it occurs. It is therefore all the more important to have the competence to deal with cyberattacks. The St. Pölten UAS has thus become a hotspot for the topic of internet security,” says Mikl-Leitner.
About 50 employees work at the Department of Computer Science and Security supporting the approximately 500 students. The Lower Austrian government has approved funding in the amount of 194,148.50 euros for the establishment of this Cyber Defense Center at the Department of Computer Science and Security of the St. Pölten UAS for a period of two years.
“Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly complex and are often used to compromise or exert pressure on the profitability of individual companies or entire countries. When I made an effort to establish St. Pölten as a competence center in this regard, cyber security was still only a marginal issue. Today, we have a widely recognised competence center right here – the Cyber Defense Center”, said Mayor Stadler who went on to emphasise: “The University of Applied Sciences offers teaching and research in keeping with the times.”
Unique, Practice-Oriented Education
Simon Tjoa, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Security at the St. Pölten UAS, said: “The Cyber Defense Center at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences gives students the unique opportunity to learn about cyber security monitoring tasks in practice and to acquire and develop skills for future use in companies.”
Graduate and UAS Lecturer Richard Thron, Head of Information Security at Doka, elaborated: “A cyber defense center is the central operational point of cyber security defense for a company."
The Cyber Defense Center enables students to get to know the practical field of monitoring, advising and managing cyber security, thus acquiring and developing skills for future use in companies.
To best support the learning experience, students are exposed to a combination of actual production data and simulated attacks.
FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Peter KiesebergHead of Research Institute
Institute of IT Security Research Lecturer Head of Josef Ressel Center for Blockchain-Technologies and Security management Department of Computer Science and Security Member of the UAS Board from 2020 to 2023