The digital tranformation of our society requires adequate cyber security. In the long run, the only sustainable solution is to ensure that everyone who builds and uses digital infrastructure has adequate digital security expertise. The realization of this vision requires that all students in IT-related education programs learn about digital security. A good analogy is that fire safety is a mandatory learning objective of study programs for building architecture.
The primary objective of the Partnership for Cybersecurity between Norway, France and Germany is to strengthen UiO's existing security-related collaborations with the partner institutions in France and Germany in order to establish shared Master and PhD courses, to stimulate researcher and student mobility and to generate common applications for research project funding.
Security by design puts requirements on designers and providers of IT infrastruktures to have the necessary skills and expertise in cybersecurity. The second objective of the Partnership for Cybersecurity is therefore to build up critical mass in information security at UiO's Department of Informatics in order to establish specialized programs for cybersecurity at Bachelor's and Master's levels. This is urgently needed to satisfy the industry's and the Norwegian Governments demand for cybersecurity skills needed to make the rapid development of ICT sustainable and the future ICT infrastructure safe.
P4C (Partnership for Cybersecurity) aims at the following activities:
1) Strengthening research collaboration through exchange of research staff between UiO and the French/German institutions, through both short and medium term stays, as well as through meetings during workshops and conferences organized by partnership members.
2) Partnering for applications to EU research funding programs. Calls under EU research funding programs require strong consortia with proven track record of collaboration. P4C will provide clear evidence of a strong consortium in funding applications. P4C partner CODE (Research Institute for Cyber Defence. Germany) is coordinator for the EU cybersecurity pilot CONCORDIA funded under the Horizon 2020 programme, in which UiO is also a partner. Hence, CODE is a strategic partner for working with EU institutions for EU funding applications. In November 2020 UiO and CONCORDIA partners submitted an application to a call from CEF (Connecting Europe Facility). Our application is called Joint Cybersecurity Operations Platform (JCOP). This is to say that collaboration with P4C partners is very important for UiO.
3) Exchange of teaching staff for guest lecturing. The complementary skill set in research between UiO and the partners is also reflected in the respective cybersecurity teaching programs. The Department of Informatics at UiO has strong ambitions in strengthening the teaching in cybersecurity. The same can be said for the partner institutions in France and Germany. P4C will boost the teaching capacity in specialized areas of cybersecurity.
4) Allowing students at PhD and Master's level to do internships and take courses at each others' institutions to get credits. Existing activities include the long tradition that Master's students from ENSICAEN have internships in the security group at IFI. These activities will be extended.
5) Establishing specialized Bachelor and Master programs in cybersecurity at IFI. These programs will leverage the context of shared courses, internship programs and guest lectures in cybersecurity provided by P4C.
6) Facilitating career support for women in cybersecurity. Female research and teaching staff at UiO's Informatics Department, as well as at the project partners, will benefit from funding to build a strong track record in teaching and international research collaboration. One female who completed her PhD in cybersecurity at UiO had a PostDoc position in IFI's research group on digital security, before she moved to a second PostDoc position at NTNU. Another female with an industry scholarship in cyber security has submitted her PhD thesis, and will bring advanced skills in cyber securityu back to her company. This is to say that P4C provides a stimulating context for advancing careers for women in cyber security.