Over 150 international cybersecurity experts gather at UF

In Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, News, Research & Innovation

While President Obama was signing executive orders on Tuesday to strengthen the government’s defenses against cyber security attacks and proposing a $19 billion budget for for IT upgrades and cyber initiatives in the coming year, the newly formed Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research, or FICS Research, was holding its first annual conference at the University of Florida, drawing over 150 of the top cybersecurity experts from around the world.

The conference was organized by the institute’s co-director Mark Tehranipoor, the Intel Charles E. Young Preeminence Endowed Professor in Cybersecurity at UF. Tehranipoor, along with co-director Patrick Traynor, and FICS Research faculty members Kevin Butler, Navid Asadi, Daniela Oliveira, Swarup Bhunia, Prabhat Mishra, Domenic Forte and Tom Shrimpton all participated in talks and panels at the event.

Bhunia, who along with Tehranipoor, Traynor and the majority of the FICS Research faculty members was recently hired under the UF Preeminence initiative, addressed the conference with highlights of his recently published work. He is helping to develop a portable means of using authentication to detect contamination in packaged food products, supplements, and medications – particularly those distributed by currently unregulated online pharmacies. Forte spoke about biometrics, and his research on the use of ECG to uniquely identify individuals and electronic systems.

“In its first year, this conference was quite a success,” said Tehranipoor, who is well known within the international cybersecurity community for his role in co-founding the IEEE International Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, or HOST, symposium, which helped create safer standards and solutions for electronics manufacturing and integration. “We had two days of excellent talks and panels, and about 40 high-quality posters presented by our students – from here at UF and from several other universities. The event was also very generously sponsored.”

Additional speakers included Matthew Scholl, the deputy division chief of the computer security division at the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST); Dhinesh Manoharan, the director of product security engineering at Intel; Jason Sanabia, president and CEO of Raith USA; Nayeem Islam, vice president of engineering from Qualcomm; and Tony Jeffs, director of engineering from Cisco Systems.

“The conference provided students a platform to engage and interact with cybersecurity experts from industry and government,” said Traynor. “It also gave folks from industry the chance to interview many of the student participants for full-time hire and internship opportunities.”

A second conference is planned for early spring of 2017.