In recognition of his work using artificial intelligence to bolster cybersecurity efforts, IU’s Sagar Samtani, an assistant professor and Grant Thornton Scholar at the Kelley School of Business, has been recognized as the National Science Foundation Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service 2022 Hall of Fame recipient.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Scholarship for Service program,” Samtani said. “It is a great pleasure to be representing the Operations and Decision Technologies department, Kelley School of Business and IU. I am truly grateful for the opportunities my department, school and IU have provided me that have helped shape the early stages of my career and attain this recognition.”
The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of alumni working in cybersecurity for federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments or those working in the private industry after completing their service requirements. Samtani is the seventh member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame out of more than five thousand graduates since the program began in 2000, and he is currently the only academic included.
“Professor Samtani’s outstanding research investigates the design, development and evaluation of artificial intelligence techniques to counter cyberthreat intelligence,” said Alfonso Pedraza-Martinez, chair of the Operations and Decision Technologies department. “His research is interdisciplinary in nature and includes publications with scholars from different backgrounds, which is truly remarkable. Professor Samtani is also passionate about taking his research insights to the classroom to train future generations of cybersecurity professionals. He totally deserves this honor.”
Samtani’s research includes developing deep learning, network science and text mining approaches for open-source software security; cyber threat intelligence; advanced cyberinfrastructure security; AI risk management and dark web analytics applications. Since joining IU, he has developed and delivered courses related to AI for cybersecurity, including one offered as part of the master’s degree in IT management program through the edX platform.
“AI can help automate many tasks that a human analyst would execute manually, including identifying assets, managing vulnerabilities, detecting threats and allocating security defenses,” said Samtani, who has become a leading voice in the growing field of AI for cybersecurity. “AI has the potential to sift through terabytes of data much more efficiently and effectively than a human could ever do. As a result, it can help address some of the significant cybersecurity workforce shortages or proactively attend to the growing mental health crisis that many cybersecurity professionals face due to information overload and limited staff.”
Samtani graduated with his Ph.D. from the Artificial Intelligence Lab in the University of Arizona’s Management Information Systems Department in the Eller College of Management in 2018. After serving as an assistant professor at the University of South Florida from 2018 to 2020, he joined Indiana University in the Department of Operations and Decision Technologies in the Kelley School of Business in July 2020 as an assistant professor and Grant Thornton Scholar. Samtani is also a fellow within the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at IU, which has been working since 2003 to provide the nation with leadership in applied cybersecurity technology, education and policy.
Samtani’s numerous accomplishments include more than 50 articles and book chapters in prestigious venues in information systems, cybersecurity and machine learning. Some of the systems and algorithms developed from his research have been used by major National Science Foundation-funded cyberinfrastructures, nonprofits and law enforcement organizations. He co-founded AI for cybersecurity workshops at the Association of Computing Machinery Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Data Mining and has attained nearly $2 million of funding from the National Science Foundation for his work in cybersecurity research and education.
Samtani is also deeply engaged with industry, serving on the advisory council of the CompTIA Information Sharing and Analysis Organization board of directors for the DEF CON AI Village, and as advisor or consultant to several cybersecurity start-up companies.