Technion Inaugurates New Cyber Security Research Center

April 25, 2016
Jennifer Frey

When Israel needed engineers to build the infrastructure of its new nation, irrigate its fields or take its economy high-tech, it turned to the Technion to provide the know-how. Add cyber security to the list.

The Technion Cyber Security Research Center opened its doors in April 2016, to gather multidisciplinary experts from across the nation. “We approached the Technion about establishing a center of this caliber because of its reputation for excellence, and especially the outstanding capabilities of its Faculties of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Computer Engineering Center,” said Dr. Eviatar Matania, Head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau at an inauguration ceremony.

The Technion was the first institute of higher learning the Bureau approached, he said. “Its academic capabilities along with technological prowess that has placed it among the top leading institutes of the world, promise that the cyber field will advance into new directions,” Dr. Matania added.

In just a few short years, the fear of cyber attack has gone from apocalyptic fiction to become a very real threat. Cyber sabotage has the power to disrupt a nation’s power plants, banking system, hospitals, airports and more. Professor Eli Biham of the Faculty of Computer Science will head the new center, which is aimed at disarming these hazards. “Today, Israel and the Technion in particular, are leaders in maintaining the country’s ability to withstand cyber threats. Yet to continue to do this we must promote interdisciplinary research that relies on the capabilities of the Technion,” said Prof. Biham.

The new center will focus on cyber security research such as software and hardware protection, operating systems security, cloud security, protection of the Internet of Things systems, cryptology and more. Its researchers will explore the weaknesses that endanger systems and develop methods of protection. The center is expected to serve as a focal point for scholars, and to disseminate innovative ideas through conferences, international workshops, courses and various outreach activities.

“The State of Israel finally understands the importance of the field of cyber security, and the establishment of the center at the Technion is of great consequence,” said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie. “From my acquaintance with the brilliant minds that have come together to found this center, I am certain that it will become a leading cyber security research facility that will contribute greatly to the field.”

Mr. Gilad Erdan, the Minister of Public Security, sent his well wishes via a letter that read: “The Technion is a world leading institute and a source of great national pride. I am confident that the establishment of the center will contribute greatly to our national security and the Israeli economy.”

As part of the center’s inauguration festivities, Technion professors Eran Yahav, Mark Silberstein, Daniel Genkin and Eli Ben-Sasson gave presentations on various aspects of cyber security.