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New Institute to strengthen Australia’s online security

Australia’s Edith Cowan University will further its formidable expertise in cybersecurity, computer science and digital citizenship with the launch of a new research institute.

According to a recent press release, the Institute for Securing Digital Futures will bring together the University’s strengths across a number of related fields.

Institute for Securing Digital Futures

It will work towards protecting Australia’s interests in an increasingly connected world.

It will focus on linking research across five key areas where the University is already conducting world-leading study. These areas are:

  1. Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems
  2. Critical infrastructure security
  3. Combatting cyber-enabled crime
  4. Digital citizenship and human behaviour
  5. Secure systems

The new Institute will build on the successes of the University’s existing Security Research Institute, which is recognised as a world leader in cyber security research.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Caroline Finch AO explained that the launch of the Institute was the latest step in their journey to becoming a research-intensive university that produces world-class research.

ECU has determined that the landscape of its digital future is an area in which they already have considerable research strength.

They have the capacity to further grow this academic muscle through additional investment and the promotion of cross-disciplinary study.

Change is occurring more rapidly in digital domain than in other fields. It is impacting every aspect of human existence at an exponential pace.

Therefore, it is absolutely vital that those impacts are closely examined and that the University stays ahead of the curve by designing the curve themselves.

Making a difference for all Australians

The new Institute will be led by someone who came from a cloud provider and was able to hold numerous positions in the defence, intelligence, space, cyber and communications sectors.

According to him, the Institute for Securing Digital Futures will focus on the University’s significant research strengths in this area toward solutions that will make a difference to everyday Australians.

He added that the decision to focus research on the five areas aforementioned was reportedly made after a handful of workshops.

The workshops, conducted by the university earlier in the year, determined what topics ECU already had critical mass in and could progress work on.

A goal for him is to see a module or certificate-style course across all of the University’s post-graduate, masters, and programs that focus on cybersecurity.

Engaging with business, industry and government to work on solving pressing issues in the digital environment are things he is looking forward to with his new responsibility.

The Institute for Securing Digital Futures is the first of four new University wide research centres that will be launched by ECU as part of its enhanced focus on producing world-class research.

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