13 Nov 2015
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Victoria University cybersecurity partnership brings value beyond uni

By Heather Wright

Wellington’s Victoria University has partnered with global leader in a deal considered to be ‘a major development for cybersecurity in New Zealand’.

The University has entered into an agreement with local company Total Risk, a partner of the Software Engineering Institute’s CERT program at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.

The Software Engineering Institute is a not-for-profit federally funded research and development centre at Carnegie Mellon University, specifically established by the United States Department of Defense to focus on software engineering and cybersecurity.

The University says the relationship with Total Risk means Victoria is aligned with one of only nine CERT-certified partners globally, and the only one in New Zealand.

Geoff Todd, managing director of Viclink, the University’s commercialisation office, says cybersecurity is one of the greatest commercial threats facing New Zealand, with business and government largely lacking the individual expertise to protect themselves against the ever-developing danger.

“The collaboration with CERT means Victoria is working with the gold-standard organisation in the field, Todd says.

“This isn’t just good for the University, it’s good for New Zealand.”

Dale Carnegie, Victoria’s dean of engineering, says the collaboration gives the university the impetus to push on with a multidisciplinary cyber program – ‘and a CERT-certified one at that’ – which should prove attractive for both local and international students.

 Grant Guilford, Victoria’s vice-chancellor, says the initiative is not only an ‘extremely exciting prospect’ for Victoria University and Wellington, but also translates into a highly valuable asset for the wider Asia Pacific region and sits well with the University’s strategic objective of contributing to New Zealand’s digital future.

The collaboration kicks off soon with a series of events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with Kristopher Rush, a Technical Director from CERT, addressing CEOs and CIOs on cyber vulnerabilities. 

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