University of British Columbia (UBC) is set to boost cybersecurity and financial risk research in Canada and beyond through a $2-million donation from Scotiabank.
Over the next five years, the Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative will reinforce research and educational projects and schemes — such as internships, speaker series, and engagement activities like hackathons — to enhance the understanding of the consequences of cyberattacks as well as refine risk management tools.
“The Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative at UBC will advance the industry's collective understanding of how to further protect digital assets,” said Scotiabank Chief Technology Officer Michael Zerb, noting costs associated with data theft such as psychological and social harm for investors and billions of dollars for organizations worldwide. “At the same time, Scotiabank's support will contribute to research and engage students to advance financial modelling to help manage risks and protect customers.”
Scotiabank’s donation will go toward ongoing work by UBC researchers Konstantin Beznosov and Hasan Cavusoglu, who focus on cyberattack research and the human, social, and economic issues concerning privacy and security. Also benefitting from Scotiabank’s backing are statistics professors John Braun, Natalia Nolde, and Harry Joe, whose work has contributed significantly to financial risk modelling and probability theory.
The donation will also aid the Creative Destruction Lab West (CDL West) at the UBC Sauder School of Business, which is an extension of the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab also backed by Scotiabank. CDL West assists entrepreneurs in transitioning from science-based innovations to high-growth companies.
“There is an urgent need to advance our understanding of information security and financial risk management in an ever more connected, complex world,” said Santa J. Ono, UBC president, vice chancellor, and professor.
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