Stellenbosch University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will host the International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Cyber Security. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University (SU) together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will this week host the International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Cyber Security (ICCWS 2019).

ICCWS is presented by the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA), attached to SU’s Faculty of Military Science and takes place at the Wallenberg Research Centre at STIAS from 28 February to 1 March. A Cyber Warfare Seminar and Workshop will take place on Wednesday 27 February

"This leading international cyber event, which is only being held outside of the USA for the second time, addresses cyber security, cyber warfare and information warfare and attracts academics, military and government professionals and practitioners from around the world to present their research findings," said the ICCWS 2019 Chair and SIGLA Project Leader on Cyber, Ms Noëlle Cowling of SU. 

Keynote speakers will focus on hybrid warfare, the role of cyber in national and human security and data driven cyber challenges.

According to Cowling, bringing this type of expertise and scientific endeavour to South Africa is important in terms of building national cyber skills, research and resilience and in broadening international and educational partnerships.  

"Innovative local partnerships are also key to strengthening South Africa’s cyber posture and that this joint initiative with the CSIR underscores the importance of collaboration between universities and science councils in knowledge creation. From a South African perspective, one of the most anticipated keynotes will be delivered by Brig Gen Piet Pieterse (SAPS) on Cybercrime as part of a transnational organised crime threat," added Cowling

The conference will be opened by the Dean of Military Science and Director of SIGLA, Prof Sam Tshehla with speakers hailing from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. 

Cyber Warfare Seminar and Workshop

ICCWS 2019 is to be preceded by a Cyber Warfare Seminar and Workshop to take place on Wednesday 27 February 2019.

Cowling said, "SIGLA places a special emphasis on cyber warfare and cyber strategy and their role in terms of development within the military and security context in the Southern African region.  The seminar will leverage partnerships across academia, industry, and government which aim to strengthen cyber security competencies and promote cyber security resilience". 

The one day event will be led by two international experts in cyber security, Bryson Payne from the University of North Georgia, a USA Cyber Centre of Excellence, and Elmarie Biermann, Director of the Cyber Security Institute and Professor Extraordinary of Strategic Studies at SU. 

A simulation exercise will take place which will demonstrate a critical infrastructure attack and possible dam breaches due to cyber-kinetic attack and disinformation/information operations. The presenters will also demonstrate the use of gamification to train and develop different skills sets within a cyber-operational environment. The event will conclude with an interactive discussion on building and expanding national cyber capabilities in Africa.

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