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PENANG, 29 January 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) via the National Advanced IPv6 Centre (NAv6) USM, today has entered a new era of cooperation in the field of cyber security education.

The cooperation was sealed through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Fortinet Malaysia, marking a strategic partnership that seeks to shape the future of cyber security education.

Signing on behalf of USM was the USM Member of the Board of Governor, and Chief Digital Officer, Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan in representing the USM Vice-Chancellor, and on behalf of Fortinet Malaysia was its Country Manager, Dickson Woo.

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This partnership shared the same vision to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive cyber workforce.

The aim is not only to meet industry demands but also to bridge the gap between education and careers.

Simultaneously, it reinforces USM's commitment in preparing students to confront the dynamic challenges in the labour market of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 era.

The collaboration with Fortinet Malaysia encompasses seven crucial aspects namely:
1. Relevance of education to industry needs
2. Technology Transfer
3. Certification and Recognition
4. Skilled Graduates
5. Innovation and Research
6. Networking and Collaboration
7. Cyber Security Awareness Programme

In his welcoming speech, Faisal Rafiq gave an overview of the university profile and achievements and said that USM has always prioritised the growth of science and technology and sustainability-related matters, and USM is also keen on bringing experts from industries for future research development.

He expressed his enthusiasm about the Fortinet Security Academic Partner Programme, emphasising that it signifies more than just a collaboration, as it is a testament to the shared dedication of both entities to excellence, innovation, and the holistic development of students.

“I believe that the joint venture will not only prepare our students for today's challenges, but also equip them to shape the cyber security landscape of the future,” he said.

Meanwhile Dickson Woo in his speech highlighted the significance of USM joining as a Fortinet Academic Partner.

“We look forward to join hands together in elevating cyber security awareness, addressing skills gaps, and providing training for skills in high demand to enhance employability.

“Together, the partnership aims to contribute to the broader cybersecurity community and empower students to play a pivotal role in shaping the evolving field,” he said.

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Also present were the Fortinet Malaysia Sales Director for Public Sector, Aziz Ali; Spectrum Edge (Fortinet Partner) Managing Director, Mohd Reza Abdul Hamid; USM IPv6 Director, Associate Professor Dr. Selvakumar Manickam; USM Director of Knowledge, Communication and Technology Centre (PPKT), Ahmad Fadhlul Irham Yusoff; Project Leader for USM; Fortinet Malaysia Major Account Manager, Public Sector, Ezad Musbahuddin; Fortinet Malaysia Marketing Manager, Mandy Teo and USM - Fortinet Malaysia Academic Collaboration, Ts. Dr. Mohd Najwadi Yusoff@Abdul Rahman and principal officers of Fortinet Malaysia.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

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