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UND hosting 2nd Annual Cyber Awareness and Research Symposium on Oct. 28 and 31

The University of North Dakota’s Center for Cyber Security Research, in partnership with University Information Technology, is hosting the 2nd Annual Cyber Awareness and Research Symposium on Oct. 28 and 31.

This hybrid event is free and open to the public with registration. The symposium that takes place on Friday, Oct. 28, will be virtual, while the event on Monday, Oct. 31, will be in-person and located in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

By bringing together cybersecurity experts from UND and around the world, the Cyber Awareness and Research Symposium will provide networking opportunities for industry professionals, academics, students and the community, said Prakash Ranganathan, associate professor of electrical engineering and director for the Center for Cyber Security Research.

The symposium is meant to cater to a broad audience through its featured line of talks based on awareness and research themes. Topics will include artificial intelligence-driven threat detection, data science for cybersecurity, advanced persistent threats and open-source intelligence.

Also planned is a Collegiate Poster Competition for graduate and undergraduate students, which will be judged by attending industry leaders.

The event’s schedule is organized by the two tracks of awareness and research. For more information, as well as the full symposium schedule and a list of conference speakers, please visit the Center for Cyber Security Research website. A PDF version of the event’s agenda can be found here.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and cybersecurity is one of the defining issues of our time, said Ranganathan.

“I am excited to see all of the great responses received within short notice of the announcement of this symposium,” he said. “This is the perfect time of year for individuals, businesses and other organizations to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and to do their part to protect their networks, devices and data from those threats.”

UND’s Chief Information Officer, Madhavi Marasinghe, will be a panelist at the symposium’s “Industry – Academia Led Panel Session” from 12:15-1 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Marasinghe remarked there isn’t a single day that goes by without hackers trying to get into vulnerable systems.

“The responsibility of cybersecurity does not fall only on the shoulders of IT staff,” she said. “Safeguarding UND is the responsibility of everyone. Conferences such as these help us take that message to a wider audience and help develop an understanding of our responsibility and accountability for our individual roles and actions keeping the University and our personal lives safe.”

Sponsors for the 2nd Annual Cyber Awareness and Research Symposium include the UND College of Engineering & Mines, UND UIT, UND’s Division of Research & Economic Development, UND’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems, Dakota Digital Academy, and the DECS Laboratory.