Big turnout for masterclass cybersecurity in Alkmaar


Arun Vishwanath, Ph.D., MBA, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo, has presented a masterclass in Cyber Security on Tuesday 2 May at Inholland University of Applied Sciences, location Alkmaar. The masterclass was opened by Inholland-board member Marcel Nollen. The turnout was big, as almost all 190 chairs were taken.

Dr. Vishwanath studies the 'people problem' of cyber security. His research focuses on improving resilience to cyber-attacks by focusing on the weakest links in cyber security: all of us Internet users. During the masterclass he focused on ‘spear phishing’, a technique where attackers gather personal information through attacks launched via email and social media. Spear phishing has targeted all major corporations and political establishments from the servers of the Christian Democratic Union in Germany to the hack into the Democratic National Committee (Party) computers during the recent presidential elections in the U.S.

Dr. Vishwanath has developed a risk assessment process to quantify and measure individual risk to spear phishing. This method, which has already been implemented by companies in the US and Singapore, leads to improved cyber resilience by targeting specific interventions to only those individuals within the organization who need it. Second year students of the Business IT & Management programme and third year students Technische Informatica are involved in projects implementing his process in the Netherlands. For BIM-students, cyber security lies at the heart of their second year. Students Technische Informatica can choose Network Security as one of their specialisations.

Dr. Vishwanath has written and published multiple articles on technology users and cyber security issues. He has presented his research to principals at national security and law enforcement agencies around the world as well as at noteworthy venues such as the US Army Cyber Institute at West Point, New York, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, as well as Blackhat 2016 conference. Dr. Vishwanath is also a frequent CNN contributor and his research has been featured on USA Today, Politico, the World Economic Forum magazine, Wired magazine, Scientific American and other leading national and international news outlets.

Dr. Vishwanath has expressed the intention to intensify the collaboration with the Business IT & Management and Technische Informatica programmes. Due to the success of the masterclass, subsequent masterclasses and follow-up research will be planned. Please contact BIM and TI lecturer Pépé Wildeman for more information (

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