Student Profile: Mortada Al-Banna

Student Profile: Mortada Al-Banna

Where are you from and where did you complete your prior studies?

I’m from Iraq and I completed my bachelor and master degree in Al-Nahrain university/Baghdad

Why did you choose to enrol at UNSW?

UNSW is one of the top research universities and having an excellent rank overall. What motivated me further is that UNSW have a reputable service oriented computing research group.

What is your research about and why are you excited about your project?

My topic of interest is crowd-sourcing cyber security. Software systems are becoming increasingly complex with modern-day development distributed across multiple heterogeneous, autonomous, and evolving cloud services. Furthermore, the reliance on third-party software (e.g. cloud, open-APIs and external libraries) make it difficult for in-house IT experts to deal with an inherent risks of using external software. So my topic of interest focus of relying on Crowd-sourcing (which is a new model for distributed computing) to overcome these difficulties.  

What do you like to do outside of research and academics?

Spending quality time with my family, attending cyber security events and hanging out with people who break software for living.

What are your career goals and future plans?

I happen to enjoy teaching, so luckily I will be able to provide some help to the future generation on how to think outside the box when it comes to cyber security. And I aspire to create a service that would help organizations in adopting crowd-sourcing solutions in the field of cyber security.

What advise do you have for prospective students interested in applying for a research degree at UNSW (or CSE)?

Prioritize what you are passionate about when you are selecting your research topic. You can always think about what is trendy and what would be hot in the job market, but unless you love what you are doing you will not survive researching it for three or four years.