ISO specialists to assist NRC in teaching cybersecurity

  • Northern Regional College (NRC) has announced a new partnership with ISO specialists, International Management Systems Marketing Ltd (IMSM). 

    The company will assist with the practical delivery of the college's Cyber Security module in its Foundation Computing degree. 

    IMSM will also offer work experience with accredited professional development opportunities to students during their second year of the course.

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    Andrew Paul, Computing Lecturer at NRC said that the college has been developing its Cyber Security module over the last 18 months.

    “Cyber security is a huge topic in the computing industry and our increasing reliance on technology means that it impacts on all aspects of our lives," he added.

    "Their ambition is to increase the quality of work in the industry by educating for certification and consulting to meet internationally recognised standards (ISOs), mirroring the ambitions that the College aspires to for all its students.

    RELATED: Five NI schools awarded for cybersecurity education

    “Thanks to this collaborative project, we will be able to offer practical cyber security training and techniques to our students.

    "Normally, cyber security teaching would be theoretical and taught from textbooks but we’ve already flipped the classroom to allow students to get real hacking experiences, with IMSM then coming in to ‘spice up’ the auditing, standards and legislative content and give our students practical hands-on and industry derived experience in every section of the course.”

    Andrew continued: “The world has changed as a result of the pandemic, and the demands on technology and changes in approach mean that cyber security is a concern for all businesses and organisations.

    "This collaboration with IMSM, coupled with the professional competency and experience of our lecturers, will allow us to provide excellent opportunities for our students to keep in touch with latest trends and industry standards and to always be able to turn theory into practice, no matter what the challenges of global connectivity or working from home may be.”

    He said that while many junior software engineers coming out of university or college know the theory of cyber security, they do not have the relevant experience to put their knowledge into practice, particularly when considering auditing procedures and expectations.

    “Work experience has always been a key part of our Foundation Degree programme and the additional experience and professional development that our students will get with IMSM will be a further, invaluable boost for their CVs and enhance their employability compared to peers elsewhere,” he added.

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    Maria Dimitrova, Head of Business Development and lead auditor at IMSM said: “Cyber security and ISO 270001 are so important for businesses, but it is essential to understand how it all fits into an organisation’s processes from a practical point of view.

    “ISO 270001 is the best set of good practices that we can refer to. It has 114 controls and helps organisations protect their information, from HR, operations, legal compliance, business development and so on.

    "This is a great opportunity for students at Northern Regional College to learn how the theoretical and academic competencies are used in an organisation from a practical point of view.”

    Northern Regional College offers the two-year full-time Foundation Degree in Computing at both its Ballymena and Newtownabbey campuses. For further information go to

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