Who We Are

The BUID Cyber Security Academy


Cyber Attack communities operate as intelligent, multi-agent, self-organising, systems-within-systems – with tight learning loops, fast evolution, and harmonious operation. Sustaining system functionality in the face of intelligent determined cyber-attacks requires capable cyber security professionals that can adapt and evolve with equal intelligence and determination.


The BUID Cyber Security Academy is cyber security unit within the Faculty of Engineering and IT which aims to advance cyber security innovation through world class research, teaching excellence, industrial expertise and training capacity. To improve cyber security talent in the UAE, the Academy will seek to increase the number of fully prepared graduates entering the cyber security workforce by providing hands-on cyber security education, simulated training, and certification for students and professionals.


The Academy’s programme is designed to produce technically astute cyber security professionals who can weave management and leadership skills with a deep understanding of the technical aspects of cyber security. It will develop a ‘talent pool’ of accomplished Cyber Defenders with the expertise to harden critical infrastructure resiliency, enhanced cyber threat awareness, detection, and reaction skills. It will provide students with Cyber Offensive knowledge and insights to what hackers may do, how to probe systems for exploitable vulnerabilities and how to react appropriately when a cyber security incident occurs. Students will leave the Academy with Cyber Threat Intelligence skills and attributes needed to become Cyber Security First Responders (CFR) who are the first line of defence against cyber-attacks.


Cyber range and laboratory facilities


Just as every military or police force needs a firing range to sharpen weapons skills and battle tactics, every cyber security professional needs access to an internet-scale, operationally relevant cyber range to develop their skills and instincts for offensive and defensive actions. The BUID Academy is designed with a Cyber Range at its ‘heart’ – a hyper-realistic virtual environment and gamification platform that will enable students to simulate networks, traffic, threats and large-scale, complex cyber-attack scenarios over virtual machines in a safe and controllable environment.  The Academy takes a hands-on approach to learning to create cyber security graduates who can ‘hit the ground running’. Core capabilities of the Cyber Range are: Six world-class flexibly integrated research, teaching and training laboratories; a state-of-the-art Video Wall Network visualisation system; and Three Skunk Workshop Rooms for dynamic thinking:

  1. The Cyber Offensive Lab (Red Lab) – a state-of-the-art lab with blended offensive capabilities designed to construct a wide variety of cyber-attacks to identify threats and vulnerabilities.
  2. The Cyber Defence Lab (Blue Lab) – a state-of-the-art lab with multi-defensive capabilities designed to develop accomplished defenders with the expertise to harden IT infrastructure resiliency.
  3. The Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab – a dynamic Fusion Centre with Incidence Response handling and Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysis capable of massive and diverse real-time data collection and threat analysis to prepare students to be expert Cyber Security First Responders with ingrained skills to respond to on-going cyber-attacks.
  4. The Malware Analysis and Forensics Lab – with the capabilities to safely execute and analyse malware in a secure environment. It will provide a segregated, air-gapped, secure environment to test, replay, characterise, and document advanced malicious activities.
  5. The Industrial Cyber Security Lab – with the capabilities to automatically and intelligently detect and mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities in IoT devices used in smart city infrastructures and to operationalise cyber security across different sectors that employ IT, OT, IoT and IIoT technologies including Industrial Control Systems and Networks and SCADA systems.
  6. The Decision Theatre (DT) – an interactive 3D visualisation ‘situation room nerve centre’ and Command and Control that provides an inter-agency common operational picture and total cyber situation awareness for joint assessments in support of effective decision making.
  7. Video Wall Network – a state-of-the-art visualisation system with mission critical command and control capabilities.
  8. Skunk Workshop Rooms – these are low tech rooms which have an emphasis on brain power for dynamic thinking, solution discovery and strategy gaming for cyber defence teams to collaboratively create the most advanced concepts to deal with evolving cyber threats.


Academy goals and objectives:


The goal of the Academy is to fulfil a critical shortage of cyber security professionals with the skills required to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks on the UAE economy and society. Its key objective will be to improve the cyber security talent pool through:

  1. Research – world class, strategic project work contributing to a more secure cyberspace in the UAE and beyond
  2. Cyberspace Innovation – applying research to provide solutions to real cyber security problems
  3. Education – educating the next-generation cyber security professional workforce in the UAE
  4. Training – keeping experienced professionals current and cyber security aware
  5. Outreach – ensuring schools, policy-makers and the community engage in cyber security best practice

Mission and Vision


The Mission of the BUID Cyber Security Academy is to tackle the acute cyber security skills shortages and smart city cyber security challenges by using Dubai as a living laboratory and classroom.


Our Vision will be of a national cyber security academy, competing with the very best nationally, regionally and internationally. We will aspire to become a preeminent national and regional leader in smart city cyber security operating at the nexus of innovative research, education, training and policy. To advance this vision, we will create a distinctive institute which will act as a fulcrum of cyber security research, education and training by developing a transformative programme that addresses threats from states, terrorists and criminals and seizes the opportunities which cyber space provides for future prosperity of Dubai, the UAE and the world.


The Academy’s guiding principles are to be:

  1. Bold – we will pursue excellence on the international stage, and we will not be afraid to do things differently.
  2. Imaginative – we will take a long-term view of cyber security for smart cities, encourage creative approaches, and explore connections between disciplines.
  3. Open – we will be permeable to outside ideas and committed to transparent research for the public good that meets the highest ethical safety and privacy standards.
  4. Dynamic – we will continually develop and refresh our research, teaching and training, and adaptable enough to change course quickly.
  5. Collegial – we will forge research and teaching collaborative connections in Dubai, the UAE and internationally. We will work with our UK academic partners, UAE public, industry and policy organisations, and the UAE public to support the development of the UAE cyber security research and innovation ecosystem.

The British University in Dubai

Block 11, 1st and 2nd floor, Dubai International Academic City PO Box 345015, Dubai, UAE

Tel: +971 4 279 1400


Email: [email protected]