Arkansas University Collaborates on $2.2M AI Cybersecurity Project with Israeli Firm

Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Writer

A groundbreaking collaboration between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Salvador Technologies, an Israeli cyber resilience company, has secured a $2.2 million grant to develop state-of-the-art AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. The project, named Extracted Configuration Security (XCS), aims to shield industrial control systems from advanced cyber threats, including ransomware.

The grant, provided by the BIRD Foundation, supports the joint venture between Bastazo, a startup with affiliations to the University of Arkansas, and Salvador Technologies. Philip Huff, assistant professor of cybersecurity at UA Little Rock and Bastazo co-founder, emphasized the significance of the partnership. “Our collaboration with Salvador Technologies represents a union of revolutionary cybersecurity concepts,” Huff said.

Alex Yevtushenko, CEO of Salvador Technologies, also expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration. “Our partnership with Bastazo enables a holistic approach to cybersecurity, empowering the ICS industry with preemptive threat detection and enhancing its resilience with fast recovery,” he said.

The grant also paves the way for job opportunities in Arkansas’s burgeoning cybersecurity sector. Bastazo has already employed seven students and graduates from UA Little Rock for the project, offering them invaluable industry experience.

Bastazo, which translates to “carry the burden” in Greek, was established in 2020 by four professors from the University of Arkansas System. Bastazo’s expertise in AI and advanced analytics aids in fortifying cybersecurity operations across various critical infrastructures.

Meanwhile, Salvador Technologies, co-founded by Alex Yevtushenko and Oleg Vusiker, boasts over a decade of experience in the National Cyber Unit and Intelligence corps of the IDF. The company is celebrated for its rapid cyber-attack recovery solution for ICS&OT systems, providing a three-layered defense mechanism for critical infrastructures.

The BIRD Cyber Program, which funds the grant, is a joint initiative aimed at enhancing cyber resilience in the U.S. and Israel. Jaron Lotan, executive director of the BIRD Foundation, highlighted the program’s commitment to addressing the cybersecurity needs of both nations.

Bastazo anticipates commercializing the product within 18 months, targeting the rapidly expanding global OT security market, currently estimated at $17.9 billion.

About the Author

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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