Sunday, 2 July 2017

Erasmus Mundus Program on Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO)

Many of the current members of the Secure Systems Group and HAIC have their background in NordSecMob, the long-running Erasmus Mundus Master’s program that is coming to a close. This program has brought exceptional information-security students to Aalto and the partner universities. It has enabled our partner companies to recruit thesis students and graduates otherwise would be difficult to come by in such numbers. For us teachers and researchers, the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the international students have made a huge difference in the classroom and in research projects.

Therefore, I’m extremely happy to announce that the NordSecMob consortium will continue in the form of a new joint MSc program. We have received European Commission funding for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree Program, called Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO). With a total budget of almost 3M€, the new program will last until 2022, or three intakes of 20+ students each. In addition to being able to offer scholarships to excellent students, we will continue to be listed in the Erasmus Mundus catalogue, where many potential students start their search for MSc programs.

Each student in the new program will spend their first year at Aalto learning fundamental knowledge of information security as well as cloud and mobile computing. After a summer internship in industry, they will continue to one of our partner universities (DTU, EURECOM, KTH, NTNU, or Tartu), each offering their own specialization such as cloud or network security or cryptography. EURECOM in France is a new addition to the consortium. In the last six months of the two-year curriculum, the students will be doing their thesis in industry or with a university research group. Each student will get a Master’s degree from both Aalto and a partner university.

Aalto students might note that the Erasmus Mundus program has the same name, Security and Cloud Computing, as an existing majorin our MSc program. Indeed, the only difference is that Erasmus Mundus students leave for a partner university in the second year. The curricula were planned together (as an update of the NordSecMob program and the earlier Security and Mobile Computing major) and the first years are identical. We even plan to offer the same exchange opportunities in the partner universities to all information-security students. If you are a current MSc or BSc student at Aalto focusing on security, please contact Tuomas Aura or N. Asokan to learn more.

As a result of the SECCLO funding, we can expect more outstanding MSc students to Aalto every year for majoring in information security. An important factor in the program proposal was the support and involvement of the parter companies, Nokia Bell Labs, Cybernetica, F-Secure, Guardtime, Intel and VTT, as well as the HAIC initiative and industry funded scholarships that enable long-term sustainability of the program. We invite new companies with an interest in security education and our graduates to join HAIC to ensure the long-term success of the program. Naturally, all the SECCLO students will be part of HAIC. They will seek summer internships and thesis positions during their study program. In other words, SECCLO will greatly amplify our ability to meet the goals behind the setting up of HAIC.