ECCWS Keynote Speaker Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ECCWS 2022

Multidisciplinarity and Multistakeholderism for Cyber Resilience of Emerging Economies: Lessons from Cyber Challenges

Led By: Dr Brett van Niekerk, Durban University of Technology, Ms Noelle van der Waag-Cowling, Stellenbosch UniversityDr Trishana Ramluckan, Educor Holdings and University of KwaZulu-Natal

State-backed cyber-attacks are increasing in prevalence and impact. The MS Exchange vulnerability exploits (2021), the SolarWinds cyber-attack (December 2020), and the WannaCry and NotPetya incidents (2017) illustrate how organisations are affected by cyber-operations attributed to nation sates. In addition, large technology companies are playing an increasingly important role in countering sophisticated criminal and state-backed cyber-operations; for example, the takedown of the TrickBot botnet and in response to the SolarWinds attack. Critical national infrastructure is often managed by private organisations as a business; therefore non-state entities will be at the forefront in defending against major cyber incidents. In addition, the growing international ramifications of cyber-operations requires a more diverse set of skills to effectively respond.

For emerging economies capacity building for cybersecurity skills can be problematic. Often cybersecurity challenges are used to encourage skills development. The presenters have engaged with a number of challenges, both as contestants, organisers, mentors, and guest judges. Together they became the first team to win the Cyber Policy and Strategy track of the Global Cyber Challenge 2.0 in 2021, which explored the response to state-backed cyber-attacks. The presenters share their experiences and lessons learnt from engaging with various cybersecurity challenges, in particular:

  • The importance of multi-disciplinary teams;
  • The need for multi-stakeholder engagement in cyber policy and mitigating international cyber incidents;
  • The importance of including policy and strategy dimensions in cyber exercises; and,
  • The role of challenges in building a resilient cyberspace for emerging economies.

Employability by Design: A Strategy for Career Ownership

Led by: Dr Charles Clarke 

Recruitment to university cyber security courses can legitimately be described as a continuing success story, commonly motivated by students who aspire to work in the cyber security sector. This is despite an environment in which communications between employers and course designers are generally limited, many job adverts are poorly designed, university careers services are often formulaic and approaches towards employability are typically rudimentary. It is against this backdrop that a scenario of cyber security graduates struggling to find employment in the cyber security sector, appears to be an increasing concern.

Employability by Design is a deliberate and strategic undertaking in which principal career factors like knowledge, skills, professionalism, work experience, CVs, job descriptions, confidence and supporting employability evidence are collectively analysed, with the aim of optimising personal career aspirations.

In this presentation, Dr Charles Clarke will provide insights to the values of adopting an Employability by Design strategy, as a means towards mitigating cyber security graduate employment challenges