The Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub has appointed Professor Dali Kaafar, from the CSIRO's data research unit, Data61, as its new scientific director.
Research group leader, senior principal researcher at the CSIRO's Data61 unit, Kaafar currently leads research in privacy-enhancing technologies and privacy-preserving data sharing, as well as next generation authentication systems, networks security and networks measurement and modelling.
Kaafar will remain involved with CSIRO’s Data61 for a portion of his time collaborating on secure distributed systems and privacy-related projects. The executive director of the Cyber Security Hub, Dr Christophe Doche, sees Kaafar's joining the hub as an opportunity to strengthen and develop the links between Macquarie University and Data61.
According to Doche, Kaafar is regarded worldwide as one of the leaders in cyber security, in particular regarding data privacy issues.
“Privacy is a fascinating and important research area as it cuts across fields of information technology, business, law, criminology, psychology and ethics,” Doche said. “This research topic is thus very well aligned with the philosophy of the Cyber Security Hub, which is to tackle cyber security issues with an interdisciplinary mindset.
“Privacy-preserving technologies are key to enable collaboration amongst organisations and to foster private and confidential data-sharing for wider and more powerful cyber security approaches.”
Kaafar replaces Professor Michael Johnson who will return to his position of professor of mathematics and computer science at Macquarie University.
The Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub was established in May 2016. The $10 million investment draws on the expertise of more than 30 researchers in the fields of computing, business, criminology, law and psychology.
“Collaboration between industry and academia is imperative in tackling the growing threat of cybercrime – and the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Hub is an unparalleled example,” Optus Business managing director, John Paitaridis, said.
According to Paitaridis, Kaafar brings the industry experience and expertise necessary to help Australian enterprises and government agencies navigate the complex cyber landscape.
The Cyber Security Hub promotes several research themes including: secure systems and software; risk management and modelling; privacy; cyber analytics; law, cybercrime and forensics; and human behaviour.
Actual research projects focus on the design of the next generation of eVoting systems, cyber risk modelling, differential privacy guarantees or identifying the profile of potential victims of cyber crime.
Article updated at 12PM on 22 September to clarify that Kafaar will remain partially at CSIRO Data61.