PhD Forum

June 4, 2020, Online


SICSA Cybersecurity PhD forum

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) Cyber Security research theme aims to foster a strong and vibrant Cyber Security research community in Scotland, and to raise the recognition and prominence of this community in the UK and internationally. As a part of this effort, a PhD forum is organised to bring together Cyber Security researchers in Scotland to share their research and get advice from academics. Sponsored by SICSA this forum is free to attend (registration is compulsory).

Organising team

Prof Karen Renaud, Aberty University | SICSA cyber security theme leader
Dr Deepayan Bhowmik, University of Stirling | SICSA cyber security theme leader


Call for Presentations

PhD students at SICSA Universities whose research is aligned with Cyber Security research are invited to participate in the forum and present their work in the form of power point / PDF presentation. Each submission should contain two files: (1) a PDF/Power Point presentation, and (2) a PDF of a 400 to 500 word abstract describing their research. Students of accepted submissions are expected to attend to present their research online. All accepted submissions will receive certificates of accomplishment. Additionally up to three best submissions will receive prizes. The forum will be open for other PhD students, academics and industry practitioners but only accepted submissions will get opportunity to present. If you wish to attend, you must register by the deadline through the registration LINK.

A PDF version of this call is available here.


Keynote: Prof. Awais Rashid

Bio: Awais Rashid is Professor of Cyber Security at University of Bristol where he heads the Cyber Security Group and is Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in Large-Scale Infrastructures. His research interests are in security of cyber-physical systems, software security and human factors. He leads projects as part of the UK Research Institute on Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems (RITICS) and UK Research Institute on Science of Cyber Security (RISCS). He co-led the Security and Safety theme within the UK Hub on Cyber Security of Internet of Things (PETRAS) and is a sector-lead for the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security of IoT. He leads CyBOK: an international effort on developing a Cyber Security Body of Knowledge to provide interdisciplinary foundations for education and training programmes and is also a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.

Abstract: Why Johnny doesn’t write secure software Software is in the very fabric of the systems we utilise in our daily lives - from online banking to social media through to critical infrastructures that bring water and electricity to our homes and drive systems such as transportation, health and governmental services. Yet vulnerabilities in software continue to be a recurring issue despite major advances in libraries, APIs and tools to help developers write secure software and test the security of their software systems. Almost 20 years ago, Alma Whitten and David Tygar wrote about the challenges faced by an archetypal user (Johnny) when utilising cryptography to secure communications. As appification and low cost, easy to program, hardware democratise software, what are the struggles that developers face when utilising the security libraries, APIs and tools at their disposal. In this talk, I will discuss these struggles, their potential impact on the security of the security of the resultant software and the open research questions that need to be addressed to support developers in writing more secure software.


Submission Instruction

Submit (1) a presentation (PDF or Power Point) of 10-15 slides and (2) abstract in PDF format (400-500 word) to with subject line Cyber Security PhD Student Forum.


Important Dates

Submission: 15 May (AoE) 2020
Notification: 22 May 2020
Registration by: 2 June 2020 (LINK)
Workshop: Thursday, 4 June 2020 (12:45pm-5:00pm)


Final Program

Time Activity
12:45pm-1:00pm Registration & Virtual Coffee
1:00pm-1:15pm Welcome & Opening Remarks
Prof Karen Renaud and Dr Deepayan Bhowmik
1:15pm-2:15pm Keynote
Prof. Awais Rashid, University of Bristol
2:15pm-2:30pm Virtual coffee break.
2:30pm-3:30pm Session I - Talk by PhD students
P1: Cyber Diplomacy: diplomatic action in international relations on cyberspace, Attatfa Amel
P2: Behaviour-based Malware Detection and Prediction of Future Attacks, Ipshita Roy Chowdhury
P3: Implement a Model for Describing and Maximising Security Knowledge Sharing, Saad Alahmari
P4: Surveying Usable Security in APIs, Leon McGregor
3:30pm-3:45pm Virtual coffee break
3:45pm-4:30pm Session II - Talk by PhD students
P5: Intrusion Detection Systems for Small Datasets Using Siamese Networks, Hanan Hindy
P6: Detecting Arabic Misinformative Articles, Hanen Himadi
P7: Usable Methods for Integrating Attack Awareness in Applications, Tolga Unlu
4:30pm-4:45pm Networking break
4:45pm-5:00pm Annoucement of prizes and closing


Link for Registration

This PhD forum is free to attend.

Registration is closed now.