Raytheon Company, the international defense and technology solutions provider, has partnered with Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi’s leading science and technology institution, on a program to build cyber skills in the UAE.
The partnership launched a four-day, cybersecurity workshop on the Khalifa University campus on February 22, marking the international launch of Raytheon’s ‘Cyber Academy’, a global initiative to build cyber-skilled workforces. Participating students are learning new cybersecurity methods and compete in a capstone exercise as they use their new skills to protect cyber systems.
“Raytheon has a special relationship with the UAE and this partnership further represents our shared interests in global security,” said Dave Wajsgras, President of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services.
“We are excited to share Raytheon’s 30 years of cybersecurity expertise and essentially merge these competencies with the advanced research and innovation at Khalifa University as we partner to help build cybersecurity knowledge and skills in the Emirates,” he added.
Dr. Mohammed Al Mualla, Senior Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies at Khalifa University explained: “It is very important for the UAE to continue to develop its cybersecurity infrastructure and talent. Cyber threats have no borders and, as a nation, we must have the capabilities to defend ourselves from threats in the cyber domain. This workshop marks the start of a new push to nurture and expand these skills. Khalifa University is very happy to welcome Raytheon’s expertise to our efforts and we look forward to cooperating on many initiatives in the future.”
Raytheon’s cyber experts are working with another long-established team member, the University of Texas-San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), the top-rated cyber education program in the United States. The CIAS team is conducting the workshop at Khalifa University, providing students with in-depth instruction in fundamental cybersecurity practices.
The workshop’s capstone exercise is inspired by CIAS and Raytheon’s annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in the U.S. The competition challenges college teams to secure network infrastructures against attacks.
“Teaching cybersecurity is challenging, because it's a moving target. There's not one institution that has the complete curriculum on cybersecurity. Technology and the methods of attack change so quickly. Skills needed 10 years ago are obsolete today,” said CIAS Director Dwayne Williams.
“We're always playing catch-up with the bad guys, so universities need to evolve constantly to keep up. Khalifa University is a great partner in this effort because it is one of the leaders of cybersecurity training in the Middle East,” Williams added.
Chris Davis, Raytheon’s Business Executive in the UAE, said the company’s partnership with Khalifa University creates the perfect blend of expertise to address the global cybersecurity challenge. “Through working directly with the university, together we can build a program to educate the next generation of cyber experts and, with that new talent, I’m confident we will help develop the cyber skills needed for continued security in the Emirates.”
The cybersecurity workshop is taking place at Khalifa University from 22 to 25 February 2016.
Khalifa University was established in February 2007 by a decree issued by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to complement Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision, which aims at building a knowledge-based economy that effectively contributes to the development of the UAE.
Raytheon Company, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions.