File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Experts gather at Stellenbosch for cyber warfare conference

By Staff Writer Time of article published Feb 26, 2019

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Cape Town – Academics, military and government professionals from around the world will gather and share research on cyber warfare at Stellenbosch University (SU).

The International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Cyber Security (ICCWS 2019) hosted by SU in conjunction with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be presented by the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (Sigla), attached to SU’s Faculty of Military Science.

The two-day gathering on Thursday and Friday takes place at the Wallenberg Research Centre at Stias.

It will be preceded by a cyber warfare seminar and workshop tomorrow.

Project leader Noëlle Cowling said keynote speakers would focus on hybrid warfare, the role of cyber in national and human security, and data-driven cyber challenges.

“This leading international cyber event, which is only being held outside of the US 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.”

She said bringing all the different experts together was important in building South Africa’s national cyber skills.

“Innovative local partnerships are also key to strengthening South Africa’s cyber posture and this joint initiative with the CSIR underscores the importance of collaboration between universities and science councils in knowledge creation.”

Cowling said from a South African perspective, one of the most anticipated keynotes would be delivered by Brigadier General Piet Pieterse on cybercrime as part of a transnational organised crime threat.

The conference will be opened by the Dean of Military Science and director of Sigla, Professor Sam Tshehla, with speakers from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.

“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 US 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, demonstrating a critical infrastructure attack and possible dam breaches due to cyberkinetic attack and disinformation/information operations. 

The presenters will also demonstrate the use of gamification to train and develop different skill sets within a cyber-operational environment. The event will conclude with an interactive discussion on building and expanding national cyber capabilities in Africa.

Cape Times

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