The growth of the Internet as a critical infrastructure platform has also created an environment where our online services in government, telecommunications and e-commerce can become vulnerable to attacks. Our research in cybersecurity, control systems and big data analytics is world leading, addressing challenges, such as how to monitor complex systems and defend our critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

  • Case study: Cyber attack maps to underpin better strategic responses

    Visualising the battlefield has long been a crucial part in identifying the most effective responses to enemy attacks. But multifaceted virtual attacks from unknown forces, hidden by increasingly large amounts of data, are becoming more and more difficult to detect.

    At the University of Melbourne’s Department of Computing and Information Systems, Dr Atif Ahmad says the IT industry is in desperate need of better situational awareness to combat the growing number of damaging attacks on networks. And he is a member of the university’s interdisciplinary team working on a project to do exactly that.

    Dr Ahmad’s “vision” is to create a digital map of a business’s information network that identifies, in real time, attacks as they are underway – whether these are attempts to steal data, crash a company’s service, or hijack the operation of infrastructure.

    “We need to collect all the threat-relevant information, analyse it and represent it in a way that will allow system managers to make useful decisions,” he says

    Visualising threats will involve collecting data in many different forms and developing new algorithms capable of sorting security relevant information from data streaming at gigabytes per second. Dr Ahmad is also modelling the way operators interact with data-collection system.

    A second part of the project involves a decision-support system that makes suggestions to managers about the associated costs of potential counter measures.

    Project leader at the university is cyber-security specialist Dr Ben Rubinstein, with other researchers bringing expertise from information systems, computer science, electrical engineering, business and economics.

    The initiative won seed funding in 2015 from the Melbourne Networked Society Institute to create a proof of concept for a threat-mapping and decision-response tool for network managers. The project team is already developing a prototype with Whispir, a Melbourne-based commercial messaging service provider.

    More information:
    Dr Atif Ahmad
    +61 3 8344 1396


Is data privacy and cyber security an issue for your company?

The University of Melbourne invites companies to join our proposal on Advanced Privacy and Cyber Security to the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program in late 2018.

Our research programs will focus on the use of machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques for security monitoring, incident response and risk assessment.

If your company needs solutions in these areas join us and other companies with similar needs – we already have research agreements with a range of companies including NBN Co.

The benefits of participating in the program include:

World class research:

Your company will have access to a multi-institutional team of world leading researchers to work on issues affecting your business, world class research facilities and industry-ready, post-graduate students at the University of Melbourne.

Leveraged investment:

The ARC will leverage your company’s investment up to three times its value (if meeting the ARC cash:in-kind ratio). Also, your investment will have potential offsets via the government’s R&D Tax Incentive.

For further details, please contact:

Research Program Leader

Professor Chris Leckie,
T: +61 3 83441413,