UKZN Academics Present at International Cyber Security Conference in Portugal

UKZN academics postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Law, Dr Trishana Ramluckan, and senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Dr Brett van Niekerk contributed to five papers presented at the European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security hosted by the University of Coimbra in Portugal.

The papers were collaborative involving local and international authors based at the Kings College in London, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Western Cape.

Ramluckan was lead author and presenter on two papers, discussing the legal perspectives on cyber-influence and research challenges in South Africa related to cyber security, while van Niekerk was also lead author and presenter on two papers, focusing on cyber-intelligence and the cyber security dilemma.

Cyber security concerns are growing internationally and in South Africa. The topics presented were particularly pertinent as cyber influence operations have been the focus of possible interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections and the Brexit vote, amongst other elections and events globally. Cyber intelligence is key for nations and organisations to identify possible threats. Despite the growing prevalence, there are still numerous challenges in researching cyber security, and South Africa is no exception with some unique challenges present.

Ramluckan joined the College of Law and Management Studies in 2017 as postgraduate research facilitator, where she provided training and support to the postgrads and aided in curriculum development. Her postdoctoral research interests include IT governance and legislation in education and international relations.

Van Niekerk was an honorary research fellow with UKZN from July 2014 to when he joined Computer Science section in a permanent capacity in December 2017. He currently lectures the honours network security module, and modules from first- and second-year. His research interests include national and international cybersecurity and privacy and cybersecurity in Higher Education.

Words: Leena Rajpal
Photograph: Supplied