GÉANT and AzScienceNet featured in the Advanced Research Workshop ‘Cybersecurity of Industrial Control Systems’ on 27-29 October 2021, where around 150 leading cybersecurity experts from more than 16 countries gathered, predominantly online. The workshop’s primary goal was to boost and encourage efforts by institutions and organisations in Azerbaijan in building capacities in cybersecurity, primarily in graduate education and research.

The 3-day workshop was co-organised within the framework of the Cyber Lab project by the Institute of Information Technology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (IIT of ANAS) and Polish National Centre for Nuclear Research. The event received technical support from the national research and education network AzScienceNet and was supported by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme.

This event will touch on two very important and intertwined topics: cyberdefence and resilience. NATO recognises that cyber threats to security are complex and destructive, they can be coercive, and are becoming more frequent. In particular, cyberattacks on industrial control systems have been and will be part of current and future conflicts.”

James Appathurai, NATO, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, speaking in the opening ceremony.

Dr. Deniz Yuksel Beten, Head of SPS Section at NATO, expressed her gratitude to the organisers at the end of the event, and briefed participants about opportunities within NATO.

There are several cyber security courses within NATO, including network security courses, critical infrastructure training courses, which also are open to partner nations.”

Deniz Yuksel Beten, NATO, Head of SPS Section

Academician Rasim Alguliyev, Director-General of IIT of ANAS expressed gratitude to NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme for its support in organising such an important event. The cooperation between NATO and the Academy of Sciences began with the ‘Virtual Silk Road’ project in 2003, he said.

At today’s conference the problems of cybersecurity of Internet infrastructure, cyber-physical systems, in brief, operating technologies, which emerged as a result of the challenges of the Industry 4.0 revolution will be discussed.”

Rasim Alguliyev, IIT of ANAS, Director-General

Among the keynote speakers, was Jacek Gajewski, Head of the Cyber Security Department of the Polish National Center for Nuclear Research, who discussed ‘International cooperation in cybersecurity’. He informed about cooperation in cybersecurity, existing programs, funding options and initiatives in this field.

Other keynote talks were delivered by Vusal Khanlarov, Head of the Education System Informatisation Department of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Jafar Huseynzade, Chief of the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Prof. Iqbal Babayev, Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee; Prof. Oliver Popov of Stockholm University, and Internet Hall of Fame inductee George Sadowsky.

Babak Nabiyev, Head of AzScienceNet, ©IIT of ANAS
Alf Moens, Cybersecurity Lead at GÉANT, ©IIT of ANAS

The event included seven sessions with more than 70 speakers from 10 countries, led by experts in cybersecurity fields. Babak Nabiyev, Head of AzScienceNet, and Alf Moens, cybersecurity lead at GÉANT chaired two of the sessions, where they also presented on ‘Investigation of computer incidents for cyber-physical infrastructures in industrial control systems Digital forensics for ICS/PLCs’ and ‘Cybersecurity of critical European IT infrastructures: GEANT and NRENs’.

The 3-day workshop attracted participants from Austria, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Netherland, Sweden, Turkey, Canada, the United States, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and other countries.