Joshua Richards has had many opportunities at USW

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Joshua Richards is a second year student currently studying BSc (Hons) Applied Cyber Security. Joshua has a combined interest in both cyber and security aspects of computing and made his decision to study Applied Cyber Security at USW after seeing the impressive facilities.

“I love that we have a class that we stay in throughout the course, we have our own computers there that no one else uses. I dreaded the fact I may have to go into a big lecturer theatre and just take notes and then have an hour in a computer lab, but that isn't the case here which is perfect.”

As a student, he has had many opportunities and has published 6 pieces in eForensics magazine. Following his publications, he was asked to run his own Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) course which was very successful.

“I made my own videos showing how to do certain techniques to find information online, and now over 20 people have bought access to the course for about $239 each. I also had to set exercises for the "students" to do, and I had to mark them after and give scores. Maybe in the future I will make another course that is more controlled by me, rather than another company.”

It was thanks to the help of one of his lecturers, Rachel Medhurst, that Joshua discovered the eForensics magazine and began publishing his own articles.

“Without her, I wouldn't have published anything or had my OSINT course right now. Elaine is an amazing lecturer too, they all are. And although not yet, I know that we will be doing things like Cisco certifications and others like training to become an expert witness in court, all extra things as well as the normal learning which is great.”

This cyber security course is part of the National Cyber Security Academy, which brings the University, Welsh Government and industry experts together to tackle the skills gap and create experts who can fight against cybercrime. Students on the BSc (Hons) Applied Cyber Security Course have the opportunity to work on a variety of assignments that allow them to apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom to the test.

“I especially liked the one where we had a virtual machine (VM) and a brief and we had to follow it using what we had learnt. This included hacking into the account on the VM, finding hidden files, hiding your tracks so that no one could find out you had been there, creating a Python script to gain access.

It was a fun one because we got to actually put what we learnt into practice and to me it seemed like the most realistic and hands on one so far in terms of what we might really use in a real work environment and it was fun to do at the same time.”