CYBERSECURITY RESEARCH TO MAKE OUR DIGITAL SOCIETY SAFE
“I have loved computers since I was a child and knew I wanted to study Computer Science. After I graduated my bachelor's in India, I wanted to go abroad for my master's degree. I favoured the Netherlands since the courses are in English and people also speak English. The 4TU. cybersecurity programme in the Netherlands caught my eye because of its collaboration between University of Twente (UT) and TU Delft.
looking at cybersecurity from different points of view
This 4TU. programme means we are enrolled as students in both UT and TU Delft and take a good mix of courses at both universities. I chose to study cybersecurity for my specialisation, which consists of a good balance between theoretical, practical and socio tech courses, through which we learn to look at cybersecurity from different perspectives. That is why I enjoyed it, as it pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and look at things from a different viewpoint.
Computer resources are bleeding into every aspect of our lives, and ensuring the security of these devices is becoming extremely important. We are increasingly becoming more dependent on them, especially since the pandemic started, and consequently, we have witnessed a rise in cyberattacks. Research in the field of cybersecurity contributes towards the development of secure devices and better defense systems. It helps improve the security of the devices and systems used by citizens.
For my internship at Google Summer of Code, I worked on OWASP's low interaction honeypot project. Honeypots are decoy computer systems that are used to attract attackers and collect data from the actions taken by the attackers to breach them. They help provide data to analyse attacker behaviour and are invaluable in developing defensive tools to protect the systems. Most people are not aware of how to protect their devices and depend on the developers and the security researchers to design secure devices and give them tools like anti-viruses to keep their systems from getting hacked.
As an international student, settling here was a bit of an adjustment for me in all aspects, culture, people and especially the education system. The adoption of English by UT as the official language helped a lot, as did the international environment on campus. I also took part in extra-curricular activities as a way to meet new people.
One such was becoming a member of the Dream Team at Designlab. There, I got to work on a project with KLM in a team of four students in a transdisciplinary approach, in collaboration with the employees of KLM Cargo and Air France. With the reduced air traffic due to COVID-19, they were looking for smarter and more responsible solutions to optimise the cargo loading capacity of aircraft by using real-time insights. We started by understanding their existing process and algorithm, working in an agile method and devised a proof-of-concept of our proposed algorithm. Now, KLM can make use of this algorithm in their systems and improve their cargo loading processes. It was fun to be part of this team.”