Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosted a Dean’s Panel on Cyber Security under the patronage of Staff Major General Saad Bin Jassim Al Khulaifi, Director General of Public Security at the Ministry of Interior. The panel was attended by Carnegie Mellon faculty, staff and students and the broader community. The panel brought together experts from the main campus in Pittsburgh to share the latest trends on one of the greatest and rapidly changing challenges of our time, cyber security, and discuss how individuals and companies can equip themselves with the tools they need to stay safe online.
The Dean’s Panel Series features prominent corporate and industry leaders to discuss relevant local and global issues. Moderated by Farnam Jahanian, Vice President of Research at Carnegie Mellon, panelists included leaders in the field of cyber security from Carnegie Mellon who have expertise in a variety of areas, such as how to best protect networking systems, the causes of cyber threats, software regulation and liability.
Carnegie Mellon faculty are working on the development of tools that can be used to clean systems, and educating individual users so they are more intelligent online. The discussions highlighted the shortage of individuals in the field equipped with the technical skills to deal with the multifaceted challenges involved with securing software, which impact all sectors of the economy with ramifications for national and global security. Panelists focused on the opportunity for computer science students to make an impact by producing tools to enable users to better defend themselves online.
“We rely on cyber systems for social interaction, financial transactions, emergency healthcare responses and transportation systems. It is the interdependency of these various challenges, and the increasing complexity of software we use, that leaves us vulnerable to cyber threats,” said Jahanian, VP of Research at Carnegie Mellon. “The challenge of cyber security is not just a computer science problem, it is not just a problem for one industry, government or nation, and we must work in collaboration to address these challenges. Carnegie Mellon is committed to continue playing a part by developing secure, trustworthy, and sustainable computing and communications systems to address this global challenge,” Jahanian added.
The panelists were: Virgil Gligor, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon and Co-director of the university’s CyLab which establishes public-private partnerships for the research and development of technologies for security, privacy, and resiliency of computing and communication systems; Paul Nielsen, Director and CEO of the software engineering institute (SEI), a global leader in software engineering and cyber security; Richard Pethia, Director of the CERT program at Carnegie Mellon University’s SEI, which conducts research and development activities to produce technology and systems management practices to help organizations recognize, resist, and recover from attacks on networked systems.
Computing innovations to protect Qatar’s cyber infrastructure was also a key focus of Qatar Foundation’s Annual Research Conference (QF-ARC) 2014. “By bringing experts in the field of cyber security together today, Carnegie Mellon is proud to join other leading organizations across Qatar that are working to protect Qatar’s critical infrastructure. The discussions support the university’s commitment to develop technological and computing research solutions to protect Qatar against cyber vulnerabilities,” said Ilker Baybars, Dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
In April 2014, Carnegie Mellon Qatar also held an Executive Education course targeting local information technology professionals and web developers to better understand challenges in securing web applications within their organizations. The courses were led by Thierry Sans, assistant teaching professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.