Cybersecurity & Innovation: Digital Trust

Eman Hammad, Chair for IEEE Toronto Communication Society Chapter, gave a talk entitled “Cybersecurity & Innovation: Digital Trust” at the UT-ITE seminar series on November 30, 2018.

Cybersecurity, an essential component of the digital world, is the series of counter measurements for protecting the digital systems from cyber attacks. Therefore, effective cybersecurity decreases risk of cyber attacks. With the advent of autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity has become vital. Autonomous vehicles are susceptible to cyber attacks in numerous ways such as:

  • Hacking of drivers’ personal information.
  • Controlling of autonomous vehicles by hackers.

These examples indicate the prime importance of cybersecurity in the age of autonomous vehicles.

Dr. Hammad described the basic components of a cybersecurity framework and the risk associated with cyber attacks. A cybersecurity framework has the following components:

  • Identify: Develop the organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk.
  • Protect: Develop and implement the appropriate safeguards.
  • Detect: Develop and implement the appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity event.
  • Respond: Develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected a cybersecurity event.
  • Recover: Develop and implement the appropriate measurements to maintain plans for resilience and to restore any capabilities or services that were disrupted due to a cybersecurity.

She explained that the safety risk of autonomous vehicles is high due to the impact magnitude of cyber attacks on people. Therefore, the most robust cyber security system is desirable. Dr. Hammad presented some of the resources/tools to help researchers in the field to develop and sustain a secure-by-design approach.


Risks of adversarial cyber activities are increasingly impacting the shape and direction of digital transformation. For smart transportation and autonomous vehicles, safety risks are motivating a more robust treatment of technology, people and processes.

In this talk, we quickly introduce basic cybersecurity concepts, describe some of the efforts and gaps in current research, and present some of the resources/tools to help researchers in the field develop and sustain a secure-by-design approach.

Dr. Eman Hammad outside, leaning against tree trunk

Dr. Eman Hammad

Dr. Eman Hammad combines practical experience and theoretical research to shape her vision for resilient-by-design solutions in the connected world. Eman’s work focuses on how a deeper understanding of interactions between critical physical systems and enabling technologies can help design new classes of operational solutions that are more resilient to cyber/physical disruptions.

Eman obtained her PhD in cyber security and resilience of smart grid systems from the University of Toronto in 2018. Eman has published 47 peer reviewed articles in highly ranked journals and conferences. Her research has been recognized with merit awards and has been highlighted in online forums. Her 18+ years of experience in communication, information technologies and operational technologies enrich an integrated perspective to securing our digital future. Eman has been an active volunteer with IEEE and is currently serving as the chair for IEEE Toronto Communication Society Chapter.

Dr. Hammad is currently a Visiting Researcher at University of Toronto and a cyber-physical security specialist at PwC.

This seminar was presented by the University of Toronto Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter.