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Interview with Vimal Kumar, Head of the Cybersecurity Lab, The University of Waikato

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Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up in your current role.

I did my PhD in Computer Science in Missouri, US, focusing on security in sensor networks, then worked at the University of West Florida before joining the University of Waikato in 2015.

What is the biggest challenge you face within your role today and how are you looking to tackle it?

As an academic researching and teaching cybersecurity, one of the biggest challenges I face is keeping our program up-to-date with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. The holy grail is to achieve the balance between new tools and technologies and transferable knowledge that is future proof. We try to engage with the industry to understand current trends and requirements and continuously review our curriculum.

In what ways have you noticed a fundamental shift towards cybersecurity within your organisation? Can you give me an example?

I can't give you an example but we have seen a shift towards a better understanding of cyber threats and risks in the last two years. The recent events of this year, however unfortunate for the organisations involved have also served to bring attention to these threats.

What strategies do you employ to keep current in a technological environment which is rapidly changing and developing?

As researchers, we work at the cutting edge of technology. At the University of Waikato, I am fortunate to be working with people who are experts in a wide range of areas in computing as well as non-computing disciplines. Working collaboratively in such an environment means that when it comes to problem-solving, we are able to use a wide variety of ideas. Staying current is then a function of understanding deeply the future implications of such ideas so that you are on top of the change.

Join Vimal at CISO Online ANZ with leading security experts as they tackle:

            • CISO: How to keep up with your changing role
            • People: Improving cybersecurity culture and awareness
            • Remote work & operations: Embracing the future with confidence
            • Identity management: Exploring access control, IAM, PAM, federated identity
            • Mind the gap: Adopting effective incident planning and vulnerability testing and assessment
            • Governance & Compliance: Breaking through complexity
            • Cloud: How to protect data, applications and infrastructure
            • Supply chain: Managing of your digital assets and services risks
            • Blockchain for cybersecurity: All you need to know
            • IoT security: What it means to businesses


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