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Scotiabank funds $2-million cybersecurity and financial data initiative at UBC

UBC is poised to accelerate cybersecurity and financial risk research in Canada and beyond, thanks to a $2-million donation from Scotiabank.

Over the next five years, The Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative will support research and educational initiatives, including internships, speaker series, engagement activities like "hackathons," and other collaborative events to advance our understanding of the impacts of cyberattacks and refine risk management tools.

"Data theft costs organizations billions of dollars a year worldwide, and cause psychological and social harm for individual customers. The Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative at UBC will advance the industry's collective understanding of how to further protect digital assets," said Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer, Scotiabank. "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. We're proud to support UBC as part our digital strategy and our commitment to building talent in the digital economy."

Scotiabank's donation will support ongoing work led by UBC researchers Konstantin Beznosov and Hasan Cavusoglu, who specialize in cyberattack research and the human, social and economic issues concerning privacy and security; and statistics professors John Braun, Natalia Nolde and Harry Joe, who are making significant contributions to financial risk modelling and probability theory.

The donation will also support the Creative Destruction Lab West (CDL West) at the UBC Sauder School of Business, an extension of the Scotiabank-supported Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. CDL West helps entrepreneurs transition 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. Thanks to Scotiabank's generous donation, leading UBC researchers can now deepen their knowledge and train the next generation of financial risk analysts and cybersecurity experts," said Professor Santa J. Ono, UBC president and vice chancellor.

UBC will host a public panel today from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PDT that explores trends and career opportunities in cybersecurity to coincide with this announcement. The panel includes Sandy Bird, chief technology officer, IBM Security; Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the U.S. National Security Agency; and Konstantin Beznosov, professor of electrical and computer engineering, UBC. It will be moderated by Kyle McNamara, executive vice president, Global Retail Banking Technology, Scotiabank.

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