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Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University Brings Cybersecurity to the Forefront

May 14, 2021

Within the framework of the Year of Science and Technologies May is dedicated to the theme “New Challenges and Threats. Security”, therefore we continue to acquaint you with current research and developments made on this issue by the universities of Project 5-100.

Today's material is about Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University because cybersecurity has always been in the interest area of this university. In 1997 Polytech became the first civil university whuch begin training specialists in this field at the Department of Information Security of Computer Systems. In 2020, a new institute Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection was set in SPbPU.

The distinguishing feature of the development strategy for the new institute is as follows: training here is focused specifically on cybersecurity for the first time in Russia. The Institute uses a hands-on approach in training based on information security testing and searching for vulnerabilities contributing to the acquiring and maintaining of practical skills in information security. The concepts of "virtual training laboratory" and "training ground" using game techniques have already been introduced to ensure information security. The Institute successfully combines new training approaches with the traditional basic disciplines for IT education: programming, mathematical statistics, electronics and circuitry, etc.

The SPbPU Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection researches the possibilities to use artificial intelligence in cybersecurity; in September 2021, a new master's program in this area will be opened.

The Institute has great prospects in the scientific area as well. A team of scientists has been already cooperating with local and foreign industry leaders: LG, Bosch, Cisco, Huawei, Gazprom Neft, GosNIIAS, JSC Transmashholding.

The SPbPU employees and students are working on the development and implementation of innovative protection technologies in distributed automated banking environments, in the industrial Internet, in intelligent systems of unmanned vehicles, in IT environments of remote and digital medicine, in dual-use systems. For example, recently specialists from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have improved the security system in the electronic control units of cars.

The institute scientific group has developed a simulation model that performs automatic clustering of units control for the vehicle on-board system and divides it into domains, so that a security breach does not lead to negative consequences. This approach is module and highly scalable, so that it does not impose restrictions on the vehicle computing resources, and minimizes of the need to apply security measures. The developed technology helps to make sure that a troublemaker who is breaking the car electronics could not use some kind of electronic unit, and these actions would not lead to the wrong decision-making in the vehicle piloting.

In addition, scientists are developing smart city security systems.

Smart city is an interconnected system of communication and information technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT) that helps to simplify the city internal processes management and improves the living standards of the population.

Thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) systems the environment is able to independently adapt to human desires. Cybersecurity threats are especially relevant to such infrastructure. The SPbPU research team of the Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection has developed a cyber risks assessment methodology in intelligent systems of the “smart city”. The proposed methodology is based on a quantitative approach, it is calculated easy and fast, which is important for the operation of the modern dynamic infrastructures. Experimental studies using a set of developed simulation models for smart city typical digital infrastructures (Internet of Things, smart building, smart intersection) have demonstrated the superiority of the approach proposed over existing domestic and foreign analogues.

As part of the team of authors, together with representatives of Sberbank of Russia, scientists from the Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection have developed and implemented a set of tools and technologies for ensuring cybersecurity of new generation automated banking systems. As a result, they were awarded with the Government Prize of the Russian Federation in the field of science and technologies.

Joint scientific and technical projects of the SPbPU Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection of with representatives of business and industry help students to gain unique skills in working with related subject areas, specific security mechanisms and cyber threats while studying.

In the near future, we plan to open new educational programs in cyber psychology, digital production cyber resilience and create specialized advanced training programs for pen testing,” said Dmitry Zegzhda, Director of the SPbPU Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection.

Advanced Russian and foreign companies implementing digital technologies are interested in graduates from the SPbPU Institute of Cybersecurity and Information Protection.