Issue 8
Monday, 01 October 2018
Charles Darwin University
Associate Professor Mamoun Alazab brings his cybersecurity expertise to CDU
Associate Professor Mamoun Alazab brings his cybersecurity expertise to CDU

CDU boosts cybersecurity expertise

Charles Darwin University is continuing to build its expertise in cybersecurity with the appointment of a new Associate Professor specialising in the area.

Dr Mamoun Alazab has joined the College of Engineering, IT and Environment as part of a jointly funded five-year $700,000 agreement between the Northern Territory Government and CDU to lead both teaching and research in cybersecurity and to assist in building local cyber security capability within the Territory.

Dr Alazab's research has focused on cybersecurity and digital forensics, particularly cybercrime detection and prevention. He has been involved in past research work to support agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Attorney General’s Department and major banks in Australia.

“Cybersecurity is an ever-changing threat. Connectivity is increasing and so are the complex interdependencies that exist in everything we do. The systems we use every day need to be properly protected because the threats are out there,” Dr Alazab said.

“The Internet was primarily designed for communication. Now it’s used to transmit sensitive confidential financial, personal and corporate data. The challenge is to secure this information on a system that was never built with security in mind,” he said.

“Cybercrime is an attractive option for criminals due to large profits with a low risk of identification. We all have a stake in the prevention and detection of cybercrime. It can’t be seen as just an IT issue.

“All aspects of our society have a role in protecting our own data and that of our employers.” 

With cybersecurity firmly entrenched as a key national security priority, it is estimated Australia will need more than 10,000 cyber security professionals over the next decade.

“At CDU we are now teaching our computer science students how to deploy their coding and software design skills to detect and prevent cyberattacks. The constant challenge is to keep up to date with new and emerging threats and translating that to a teaching environment,” Dr Alazab said.

He encouraged more students to take up undergraduate and postgraduate studies and research in cybersecurity and broaden the range of professionals capable of supporting a cyber-secure nation in to the future.

“The drive is to attract more of Australia's best and brightest into this critically important area,” Dr Alazab said.