New York | March 26, 2019

Idea Exchange: Securing the Future of Information

On March 26, 2019 at Hotel Central Park in New York, UCalgary Chancellor Deborah Yedlin invited all alumni, donors and friends living in the area to join an informative cyber-security presentation by Dr. Rei Safavi-Naini, PhD, NSERC/Telus Industrial Research Chair in Information Security and AITF Strategic Research Chair in Information Security. The evening was emceed by alumnus Dr. Boaz Gelbord, BSc’93, Chief Information Security Officer with Dun & Bradstreet and who has a PhD in mathematics.

Our guests learnt more about the risks quantum computers pose and, most importantly, how researchers are racing to get ahead of this problem and educate the next generation of cybersecurity experts. They also discovered the many ways UCalgary researchers are working to address the challenges of long-term information security.

Hackers are continually attacking personal, organizational and national data security on the Internet, with new breaches reported all the time.

But the biggest threat to information security in our hyper-connected society comes from the creation of quantum computers, which is shown to lead to the collapse of today’s most secure encryption systems. Expert estimates that this could happen within 10 years.

Dr. Rei Safavi-Naini

Meet the expert

Dr. Rei Safavi-Naini, PhD, holds both the NSERC/Telus Industrial Research and AITF Strategic Research chairs in information security at the University of Calgary. She is the co-founder of the Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance at UCalgary, and served as its director until December 2018. She has been published widely in premier journals and presented at conferences on information security and privacy, and has given numerous keynote talks, most recently at Chinacrypt 2018 and the joint session of International Conference on Information Theoretic Security and Cryptology and Network Security in 2017. Safavi-Naini has served on the editorial board of major information security journals, has been a member of program committees for leading conferences, and has served as the program chair of major conferences such as Crypto, Financial Cryptography, and Applied Cryptography and Network Security. She is currently associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IET Information Security and the Journal of Mathematical Cryptology. She has a long track record of industry-collaborative research in Australia and Canada. Her current research interests include post-quantum cryptography, communication and cloud security, and security in distributed systems.