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RIT researcher brings together cybersecurity experts from the United States, Ireland and Northern Ireland

Computer engineering professor S. Jay Yang sees collaboration as the key to combating international cybersecurity threats. That’s why the Director of Global Outreach at RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute helps lead an alliance of cybersecurity researchers from the United States, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

With the rapid digitization and hybrid nature of post-COVID work, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly complex international threat landscape. The alliance aims to ensure that advances in cybersecurity research can be applied to improve the resilience and security of the US and Irish digital economies. The partnership is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (USA), Science Foundation Ireland (Ireland) and the Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland).

“Cyberattacks don’t respect geographic boundaries,” Yang said. “To defend our countries, our critical infrastructures and our data, we must work together across national and disciplinary borders. It is a global threat.

The partnership stems from NSF’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, which supports cybersecurity and privacy research. When the idea of ​​a partnership between the three countries to increase the level of collaborative R&D between researchers was created, Yang was chosen to lead it.

“International collaboration is crucial for science – not all great ideas and expertise exist in the United States, and there are differences in laws, public policy and culture that affect many areas of cybersecurity. and privacy,” said Jeremy Epstein, program director at NSF’s Computer and Networking Systems Division, which houses SaTC. “Programs like this can bring new perspectives to scientific problems, as well as make facilities, equipment, and data available that do not exist in the United States. Cybersecurity and privacy are global concerns, but with many variations, SaTC launches this program to gain additional insights.

This is the first three-party partnership in which the NSF SaTC program has participated. Previously, SaTC had created US partnerships with Israel, the Netherlands and Brazil.

In October, Yang led the partnership’s first in-person workshop, the Transatlantic IoT/CPS Cybersecurity Research Workshop at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. As the principal investigator of the workshop, Yang received funding from the NSF to support US travelers attending the workshop. About 50 cybersecurity researchers from 20 universities participated, including researchers from six universities in Ireland, two universities in Northern Ireland, Virginia Tech, University of Notre Dame, University of Utah and others. Also in attendance was RIT’s Computer Security Department Chairman Matthew Wright.

“Cybersecurity is one of the highest risks facing our digital economies,” said Bashar Nuseibeh, professor of software engineering at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and chief scientist of Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland. Research Center for Software. “Its impact extends even deeper into the physical and social spaces in which we live and work. This partnership will allow US and Irish researchers to work together to give key sectors of our economies the confidence to adopt and benefit from new technologies.

Yang said the workshop gave him a better understanding of the strengths, needs and opportunities of the unique cybersecurity landscapes in each country. He expects several collaborative teams to form and deliver government-funded research projects to advance security postures for cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. It also provides for an enhanced partnership between RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute and universities and research centers across Irish regions.

The United States and Ireland have both expressed interest in tackling cybersecurity issues. In 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on improving the nation’s cybersecurity. In the first State of the Cybersecurity Sector in Ireland 2022 report, officials recommended international partnerships as a means of realizing the country’s cyber potential.

For more information on the US-Irish partnership, contact Yang.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion