Dr. Nawa Raj Pokhrel, Assistant Professor of Physics and Computer Science, Receives Subaward for Cybersecurity Project


Dr. Pokhrel’s project “Building Cyber Intelligence Workforce through AI-Based Cybersecurity Education and Training” recently received a Subaward from Texas A&M - Kingsville as part of a larger grant given by the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Pokhrel’s award was $21,000 from the $466,324 grant. The Co-Principal Investigator of the project, Dr. Mais Nijim of Texas A&M-Kingsville, is collaborating with Dr. Pokhrel and other professors at Del Mar College, South Texas College, and Blinn College.

“My previous research was also associated with cybersecurity and then I got in contact with the Texas A&M Gainesville university professor, and our research was similar. The main intention here is to integrate the idea of data science with cybersecurity.” Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. In the digital age, endless technology relies on computers and the internet. 

“I’m working to develop the analytical model of cybersecurity, analytical model or impact. It is a kind of integration of data science with cybersecurity; in other words, working with a large volume of data and then developing a cybersecurity model is the objective of this project on my part.”

Cybersecurity threats have continued to grow and become increasingly costly to businesses and the world at large, with some estimates indicating that cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 Trillion annually by 2025. Those who wish to make a career as cybersecurity professionals have a great outlook ahead of them. Careers in cybersecurity are expected to grow expeditiously in the next several years.


Dr. Pokhrel also anticipates selecting several students in the coming months to work with him on the project. 

“Those who are interested in machine learning and working with big data might be interested in working on this project. Ultimately, the students will be working on data preparation and data processing. Then once said data is prepared, I'll be working on it to make a model. That's how the work of the student and the processor will be integrated together to get the final outcome.”

The collaboration is a testing ground for the students as well as the professors involved. To be able to test in real-life situations is a huge benefit to any research. An interesting part of the project is that it is interdisciplinary. “One of the most important things like this project is a kind of intersection of cybersecurity, data science, and computer science,”  Dr. Pokhrel said.

Hopefully, through Dr. Pokhrel and his students' research, alongside the other collaborators on this project, they can make the online world a safer place for everyone.