E-news Issue 8
Tuesday, 05 October 2021
Charles Darwin University
Associate Professor Mamoun Alazab (right) is named Scientist of the Year at the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.
Associate Professor Mamoun Alazab (right) is named Scientist of the Year at the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.

Tall Poppy Science Award recognises CDU cybersecurity expert’s work

Cybersecurity expert at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Associate Professor Mamoun Alazab, has won Scientist of the Year in the prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his world-class cybersecurity research, community engagement and communication.

Created in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise excellence in research as well as enthusiasm for communicating science beyond the walls of the laboratory.

A/Prof Alazab received the prestigious national accolade during the Science Week Awards presented at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in September.  

The award recognises A/Prof Alazab’s excellence in research and communication based on his cybersecurity research, which focuses on cybercrime detection and prevention.

"This recognition highlights the importance of cybersecurity in addressing some of today's critical issues and shielding against tomorrow's increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats," Assoc Prof Alazab said.

“Cybersecurity is an ever-changing threat. Connectivity is increasing and so are the complex interdependencies that exist in everything we do.

“I want to empower everyone in the community to fight cybercrimes. Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue but applies to all fields and affects everyone.”

A/Prof Alazab joined CDU in 2018, under a jointly funded agreement between the University and the Northern Territory Government, leading both teaching and research in cybersecurity and assisting in building cybersecurity capability within the Territory.

Passionate about the local community, A/Prof Alazab works with businesses, seniors and schools to promote the importance of cyber ‘hygiene’ and develop cyber resilience in the community.  

A/Prof Alazab leads the world’s largest technical professional organisation IEEE’s NT branch to implement important programs to improve access to communication and technology among Australian First Nations people and to support women in STEM.

Through his research, A/Prof Alazab investigates the use of Artificial Intelligence as essential tools for cybersecurity in authorship attribution, detecting attacks, analysing malicious code or uncovering vulnerabilities in software and hardware.

In addition to training the next generation of cybersecurity experts in the College of Engineering, IT and Environment, A/Prof Alazab works closely with NT Government and industry partners to develop solutions to pressing cybersecurity challenges.

Now a “Tall Poppy” scientist, he plans to continue his work in higher education and research aimed at driving cybersecurity technology and capabilities in the Northern Territory and beyond.