The AXA Research Fund, the science philanthropy initiative of global insurance leader, the AXA Group, has announced that Professor Robert Deng from Singapore Management University's School of Information Systems (SIS) has been conferred the prestigious AXA Chair Professorship of Cybersecurity at the inaugural SMU Cybersecurity Forum held this week.
This year, six AXA Chairs were selected for this honour globally and Prof Deng is the only one from Singapore.
Recognising that cybersecurity has become a key concern to businesses and individuals due to the increased frequency in cyberattacks and the resultant heavy price borne by victims of cybercrime, the AXA Research Fund awards Professor Deng EUR800,000 (US$858,000) over a period of eight years to support his research in the development of new ways of protecting data security and privacy.
As AXA Chair Professor of Cybersecurity, Professor Deng will undertake a research programme to systematically investigate a unified framework for protecting data in the new environment. The research is expected to yield new security models, algorithms, protocols, and analysis techniques.
According to statistics released by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), 81.3% of Singapore’s population are Internet users, using essential services such as banking, healthcare, transport that are powered by Infocomm technology. The acceleration of digital transformation of companies in Singapore also implies a multiplication of cyber incidents as well as an increase in the cost of breaches.
“The ubiquity of high speed internet and smart devices makes Singapore one of the most well connected countries in the world. But this also makes individuals and organisations prime targets for cyber criminals. Professor Deng’s research will prove invaluable in developing new ways to defend against cyber threats and we are proud that the globally coveted AXA Chair was awarded to a project from Singapore,” said AXA Insurance Chief Executive Officer Doina Palici-Chehab.
AXA launched Singapore’s first online risk insurance for individuals in 2014.