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Optus and UniSA appoint inaugural chair of cyber security

Having suffered one of the most significant cyber attacks Australia has ever seen, Optus has announced the appointment of a new chair of cyber security and data science at the University of South Australia (UniSA).

user icon Daniel Croft
Mon, 13 Mar 2023
Optus and UniSA appoint inaugural chair of cyber security
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UniSA and Optus partnered in November 2020 to develop a Cyber Security Research and Collaboration Hub in the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre, with the intention of teaching the next generation of cyber experts and driving technological innovations.

Now, Optus has appointed United Nations University Institute computer science researcher, Dr Mamello Thinyane, as its first chair of cyber security and data science at UniSA.

“In 2020, Optus and UniSA partnered to fund research and teachings that would advance cyber security innovation and skills for the next generation,” said Optus MD, enterprise and business, Gladys Berejiklian.

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“Today that commitment marks its first milestone with the appointment of Dr Mamello Thinyane and further proves our dedication to UniSA and our wider university partner ecosystem.”

In his new co-founded role, Thinyane will lead a team with the Cyber Security Research and Collaboration Hub, driving technological innovation for the Australian industry and providing cyber training for future cyber security workers.

“Cyber crime is costing the Australian economy more than $30 billion a year, and increasing at an alarming rate, affecting organisations and millions of individuals right across the country,” said UniSA deputy vice-chancellor, research and enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO.

“Our motto at UniSA is that cyber security is everyone’s business and we have taken this a step further with Optus, joining forces to reduce the risks of attacks through ongoing research and teaching.

“Under Dr Thinyane’s leadership we will develop new technology that Optus and other organisations and sectors, including defence, can deploy to strengthen data security. Our goal is to make South Australia a leading centre of cyber security and data science.”

While the UniSA and Optus agreement happened almost two years prior, the new appointment follows the major cyber attack on Optus in September last year.

The data of 11 million customers was compromised, making it one of the largest attacks Australia has ever seen.

The Aussie telco now faces a number of class action complaints and government reviews, despite chief executive Bayer Rosmarin saying that none of the affected customers have had their data misused.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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