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Artificial Intelligence Key to Cybersecurity

August 25, 2019

KU Advances AI Research with Launch of Cybersecurity Research Award with DarkMatter to Accelerate Development of Cyber Solutions for Smart Cities

Security concerns have taken center stage in the internal processes of public and private organizations of all sizes, as well as in the everyday life of individuals. Innovative techniques, protocols, and systems for identifying cyber security threats are all required to address the pressing issue of cyber crisis management.

Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime in the United States and are increasing in size, sophistication, and cost at the global level. Yet, according to research from the European Commission, the cybersecurity field is suffering from a massive skills shortage.

To encourage local advancements in the field of cybersecurity in this era of smart and digital cities, Khalifa University’s new Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Institute (AI Institute) will focus its capabilities in machine learning, robotics and AI to find ground-breaking, innovative and exciting solutions to cybersecurity concerns.

Since 2010, the UAE leadership has launched national strategies to guide the country’s development in specific sectors and outcomes that will position the UAE as a knowledge and innovation leader; the AI Institute’s work on cybersecurity will play a large part in this through its Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS).

The C2PS dedicates itself to establishing an internationally recognized center of excellence in cybersecurity research and is currently addressing key technologies and applications in the security of global ICT infrastructure, data protection and encryption, and the security of cyber-physical systems. Dr. Ernesto Damiani directs both the C2PS and the AI Institute and says AI has become crucial for cybersecurity.

“Traditional security measures are useless against hidden cyberattacks, but some AI models like Recursive Neural Networks can be trained to repel these intruders,” Dr. Damiani explained at the European Agency for Network and Information Security’s high-level meeting in June.

Beyond academia, there are some exciting opportunities for students, graduate research assistants, and researchers generating cybersecurity solutions.

Khalifa University and DarkMatter Group have launched a cybersecurity research award (CRA) for ideas that will safeguard the world’s smart cities against the cybersecurity threats of tomorrow. This is not exclusive to KU students and staff either; applications from both local and international institutions are encouraged to present ideas that could advance the field of cybersecurity. The most innovative solution could be awarded a USD1.5 million grant to pursue their solution.

Applications for the CRA close on 30 August 2019, with selected applicants then invited to present their ideas and submit full proposals by February 2020. The CRA winners will be awarded in May 2020.

KU’s support of the CRA and other initiatives that encourage R&D of smart systems, such as the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Competition (MBZIRC), is a testament to the university’s commitment to advancing understanding of AI, and to harnessing it to make a better, cyber-secure world.

Jade Sterling
News and Features Writer
25 August 2019

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