Khalifa University Cybersecurity Academy Inaugurated

January 15, 2024
Winners of ‘Capture the Flag’ Cybersecurity Challenge Honored


Khalifa University of Science and Technology and the UAE Cyber Security Council today jointly announced the inauguration of the Khalifa University Cybersecurity Academy that offers complete certification and training programs in English and Arabic, trains and certifies individuals, students, companies, and organizations on security issues through technological, regulatory, and methodological processes.


The launch ceremony was attended by His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity, UAE Government, His Excellency Homaid Al Shimmari, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University, Dr. Ernesto Damiani, Director, Khalifa University Center for Cyber Physical Systems (C2PS), and Acting Dean, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, faculty members and researchers. Representatives from Leonardo, the Italy-headquartered aerospace, defense and security multinational, and a partner for the Academy, were also present. 


His Excellency Al Shimmari said: “Khalifa University is delighted to join the UAE Cyber Security Council for the inauguration of the Cybersecurity Academy, the first of its kind in the region. The Academy will offer courses in both Arabic and English, reflecting our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. With dedicated expertise from Khalifa University research staff, we believe the Khalifa University Cyber Security Academy will play an emphatic role in empowering individuals and organizations to secure the digital world, through knowledge, training, and innovation.” 


H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government, underlined that the inauguration of Khalifa University Cybersecurity Academy is in line with the UAE Cybersecurity Council’s efforts to enhance cybersecurity in the UAE and build qualified human capital in this vital field.


He said that “the inauguration of the Academy is a major step in empowering individuals and institutions with the necessary knowledge and skills to protect our digital infrastructure.” He stressed that protecting the digital realm has become extremely important, not only for protecting individuals’ privacy but also for maintaining the community members’ trust in the UAE Cybersecurity Council.”


Dr. Al-Kuwaiti explained that through the Academy’s comprehensive certification and training programs, together with our partners at Khalifa University, we provide individuals and institutions with the necessary tools to ward off the challenges of the ever-evolving cyber threats. He indicated that knowledge transfer, training, and innovation are the only means to ensure a more secure digital future for the UAE. He concluded by emphasizing that the Cybersecurity Council seeks to transform cybersecurity into a public culture through several initiatives, saying, “We believe that this Academy will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.” 


The ceremony also honored the winners of the Capture the Flag (CTF) Battle, a cybersecurity challenge that simulates real-world scenarios offering participants an opportunity to showcase their cybersecurity expertise in a collaborative and challenging environment. 


The Khalifa University Cyber Security Academy is powered by the same proprietary platforms offered by Leonardo in Italy and worldwide, such as the Cyber Range. Designed with the principles of gamification, the Cyber Range leverages virtualization and interoperability to provide high-fidelity simulations of immersive operational scenarios. 


The academy offers special training initiatives to meet the needs of organizations within the UAE. These programs are designed to guide individuals, industry, and government sector policymakers  in responding to and taking preventive measures to stop cybercrimes even before they can happen. 


Recently, Khalifa University’s security professionals, who joined the trainers’ team at the Khalifa University Cyber Security Academy, underwent a six weeks training program at the Leonardo Cyber & Security Academy in Genoa, Italy, where they gained experience with Leonardo’s training platforms. 


The Khalifa University Cyber Security Academy will further enhance Khalifa University’s prime research and academic programs, which already offer highly specialized degrees that can take students all the way to top-rated doctorate degree holders, leveraging the KU Cybersecurity Academy’s expertise in securing digital ecosystems and building resilience for globally critical assets. 


Clarence Michael
Science Writer

15 January 2024