Great minds focused on cyber security
(Posted September 2022) Smart container terminals, self-driving vehicles, an electric grid powered by renewables. What do these technological advances have in common? They depend on a lot of devices, including smartphones, sensors, cameras, and personal digital assistants being connected to a network. And while this connectivity enables the world to run smarter, it also puts cyber security at the forefront.
Liu Yang, a professor at Nanyang Technology University in Singapore, is conscious of the increasing risk that cyber attacks pose. “The attacks will become a very common phenomenon in the coming world,” he says. “Any single one of these critical vulnerabilities can lead to your system being hacked and controlled by the attacker.”
Liu has some of the world’s best computer science minds at his disposal to deal with this problem. Nanyang is one of the world’s top universities for computer science, ranking 4th globally in the 2022 the U.S. News and World Report ranking. In 2016, he spun off a cyber security research program from Nanyang and co-founded Scantist.
The Scantist team discussing a problem
One of Scantist’s major focuses is to ensure the reliability of open source software. In recent years, open source software has been playing an ever more central role in keeping the world running smoothly. In theory, software coded openly and collaboratively is as safe, if not safer, than proprietary software because anyone can inspect the source code for vulnerabilities. At the same time, open source software can become a vulnerability itself if no one is actually checking the source code. Scantist’s main business is to help other companies inspect open source software for vulnerabilities.
Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer at Huawei Cloud in Singapore, discussing a new business plan with Dr. Liu
In 2021, Scantist won the Spark Ignite startup competition at the Spark Founders Summit. This sped up Scantist’s business development. The firm benefitted not only from a business grant but also from support from experienced Huawei managers who strengthened the young firm’s business plan and introduced it to new possible partners and funding sources.
Additionally, Huawei produced a stunning video about Scantist starring Dr. Liu. Here it is.