As society moves more services and data online, the attack surface for cyber criminals increases – presenting a major risk to organisations.
When cybersecurity start-up, Cydarm Technologies, identified alert triage as the key to efficient incident response, the team enlisted the skills of Federation University Australia IT PhD candidate, Paul Black, in an internship brought about by the collaboration of the Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (APR.Intern), Australia’s only not-for-profit PhD internship program, and the Defence Science Institute (DSI).
Through a $10,000 Defence Research Voucher facilitated by DSI and the Australian Government, Paul was able to bring his 30-plus years of technical experience in industry, plus new and well-seasoned programming approaches to the internship. The result was an innovative machine learning system, automating the severity assessment of security alerts.
“The project really helped to identify the transferability of my new skills and modernise my thinking,” said Paul, a mature-age student for whom the DSI funding proved invaluable to his research pursuits. “Machine learning has become a critical aspect of cyber security research and the opportunity to put new theory to practice improved my techniques,” he added.
For Cydarm CEO & Founder, Vaughan Shanks, welcoming an intern allowed his business to rapidly develop a new end-to-end system, increasing efficiency via automated alert triage.
“Initial testing demonstrated accurate predictions and fine-tuning will cement validation for external use. The system’s delivery within a short time frame was a great success,” he said.
Cydarm Technologies saw value in Paul’s skills and extended the project from four to five months to see completion.
Following his time at Cydarm Technologies, Paul was offered a security researcher position at the Internet Commerce Security Lab (ICSL) in Federation University Australia where he will draw from his experience solving industry problems with computing expertise.
The DSI and APR.Intern Defence Research Voucher offers SMEs access to a tailored, high-impact defence research project and top-level post-graduate research expertise. The collaboration offers both the business and researcher the chance to expand their defence capabilities, serving to propel Victoria’s Defence interests.