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[WEBINAR] Diversity & Cybersecurity: Women in Research

Thursday, 1 July 2021
3:30PM–5:00PM EEST

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) data, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. Moreover, data shows a clear leaky pipeline, with a growing number of women pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but many opt-outs at Ph.D. level, a required title for a research career. These numbers impact several research decision-making processes, with women being underrepresented as peer reviewers on editorial boards and research councils and having fewer leader positions in tertiary education and R&D.

The webinar aims to discuss the challenge women face in research in general and, more specifically, in cybersecurity, both in academics and in industry. The webinar also aims at facilitating networking among women potentially interested in starting a new career path. For this reason, the webinar includes a mentoring activity implemented as private calls among the audience and speakers.

The webinar also aims at facilitating networking among women potentially interested in starting a new career path. For this reason, the webinar includes a mentoring activity implemented as private calls among the audience and speakers.



Time Topic
15:30–16:15 Panel discussion
16:15 – 17:00 Private calls



Elena Ferrari – Professor at University of Insubria – Italy

Elena Ferrari is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Insubria, Italy where she leads the STRICT SociaLab. She received her Ph.D. and M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Milano (Italy). Her research interests are in the broad area of cybersecurity, privacy, and trust. Her research projects aim at creating technologies enabling efficient and effective data sharing without sacrificing privacy or security. She has received several awards, including the 2009 IEEE Technical Achievement Award for pioneering contributions to Secure Data Management, the ACM CODASPY Research Award for lasting and innovative research contributions to the cybersecurity and privacy fields (2019), the ACM SACMAT 10 Year Test of Time Award (2019), an IBM Faculty Award (2014), and a Google Research Award (2010). She was elected an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2011 and became an IEEE Fellow in 2012 for her research contribution to security and privacy for data and applications. In 2019, she has been named ACM fellow for contributions to security and privacy of data and social network systems.

Elena Ferrari also extensively promotes cybersecurity and privacy to women and has supervised numerous female Ph.D. students. In 2018, she has been named one of the 50 most influential Italian women in tech.

Miriam Goellner – Cybersecurity Engineering at AIRBUS
Athena Vakali – Professor at Aristotle University – Greece

Athena Vakali is a professor at the School of Informatics, Aristotle University, Greece, Director of the Laboratory on Data and Web science (Datalab https://datalab.csd.auth.gr/). She holds a PhD degree in Informatics (Aristotle University), a MSc degree in Computer Science (Purdue University, USA), and BSc degree in Mathematics (Aristotle University). Her current research interests include cutting-edge Data Science and Innovation topics with emphasis on big data mining and analytics, Next-generation Internet applications and enablers, online social phenomena detection, online disinformation detection, as well as data management on the cloud, the edge and decentralized settings. She has supervised 10 completed Ph.D. theses and she has been awarded for her educational and research work which is extended with mentoring and students empowerment (ACM, ACM-W). Prof. Vakali has published over than 175 papers in refereed journals and Conferences and she is in the editorial board of the “Computers & Electrical Engineering” Journal, and ICST Transactions on Social Informatics (her publications received over 8690 citations with hindex=39 according to gscholar). She has coordinated and participated in more than 25 research projects in EU FP7, H2020, international and national projects.

She has served as a member in the EU Steering Committee for the Future Internet Assembly (2012-14); she has been appointed as Director of the Graduate Program in Informatics, Aristotle University (2014-15). She has co-chaired major Conferences Program Committees such as: ACM/IEEE Web Intelligence Conference 2019, the EU Network of Excellence 2nd Internet Science Conference (EINS 2015), 15th Web Information Systems Engineering (WISE 2014), and 5th International Conference on Model & Data Engineering (MEDI 2015). She has also served as Workshops co-chair and has been a member to numerous International conferences and Workshops. She is an ACM Fellow and an ACM Distinguished speaker and she has served as Informatics School Vice Chair (2017-2020).

Aiko Pras – Professor at University of Twente

Aiko Pras is full professor in the area of Internet Security at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He is chair of the Design and Analysis of Communication Systems Group (DACS). In 1995 he received a Ph.D. degree from the same university for his thesis titled “Network Management Architectures” and in 2013 he was appointed as full professor Network Operations and Management. In 2016 he has been honoured with the IFIP/IEEE “Salah Aidarous Memorial Award” for providing unremitting service and dedication to the IT and Telecommunications Network Operations and Management community.

He is research coordinator of the EU Concordia project, which is one of the three Cybersecurity Competence Networks within Europe. He is “Beirat” of the CODE Cybersecurity research institute in München, member of the SURF Scientific Technical Council (WTR) and board member of the Dutch chapter of the Internet Society (isoc.nl). He has chaired the IFIP Technical Committee on “Communications Systems”(IFIP-TC6, 2013-2017), as well as the EU Future Internet cluster (2012-2014). He has been coordinator of the European Network of Excellence on “Management of the Future Internet” (FLAMINGO, 2012-2017).

This webinar is the third of the Diversity & Cybersecurity Webinar series! CONCORDIA will provide other webinars focusing on topics related to gender balance.