CyberMACS Winter School: A Week of Intensive Cybersecurity Training

Hosted by Kadir Has University from February 12 to 16, the CyberMACS Winter School brought together experts from academia and industry for a significant educational event in the field of cybersecurity. The Winter School took place as an intensive, one-week programme, focusing on advanced topics relevant to the students’ fields of study, while also emphasising the development of soft-skills and hands-on experience. 

The Winter School, held between 12-16 February, was a programme that included a series of interactive sessions in the field of cybersecurity. The event began with an opening speech by Prof. Dr. Hasan Dağ, the Coordinator of the CyberMACS Programme, and continued with presentations by expert speakers on various topics such as cybersecurity of critical infrastructures, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity, cyber risk assessment, and cyber vulnerabilities in the energy sector. CyberMACS students received the most updated information on cybersecurity trends and engaged practical examples from recognised experts in the field, such as Prof. Dr. Alexander Iliev, Bozidar Spirovski, Güray Oğuzgiray, and Arnaud de Vibraye. 

Throughout the programme, specific topics in cybersecurity were addressed, including the cybersecurity skills gap, cybersecurity of critical infrastructures, and an overview of ICANN and Domain Name System (DNS). Additionally, sessions focused on diversity and inclusiveness and career opportunities in cybersecurity offered participants opportunities to develop soft skills. Practical experiences, including a visit to the Sakarya University National Testbed Center for Critical Infrastructures and a Capture the Flag competition, reinforced theoretical knowledge with hands-on training.  

The event was enriched with a workshop tailored for CyberMACS students aiming for a career in cybersecurity risk management and brainstorming sessions on student presentations on the achievements that they gained throughout the first semester of the programme. This intensive and content-rich programme not only provided participants with in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity but also offered a perspective on current trends and challenges in the sector, serving as a resource for those considering a career in the field of cybersecurity.  

A conducive to both learning and reflection, the Winter School offers a unique blend of lectures, workshops, and group presentations, led by experienced researchers and guest speakers from cybersecurity industry. These interactive sessions were crafted to challenge students intellectually and to stimulate innovative thinking in handling cybersecurity challenges by exposing them to cutting-edge research and real-world problem-solving scenarios.  

As the Winter School brought together leading academics and cybersecurity industry experts, it also facilitated the coming together of the consortium universities’ rectors—Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, and Kadir Has University. This gathering laid down a strategic framework for CyberMACS’s future direction and objectives, ensuring its continued impact and relevance in the evolving field of cybersecurity education.

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