Professor Willy Susilo at his office

UOW Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo awarded prestigious ARC Laureate Fellowship

UOW Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo awarded prestigious ARC Laureate Fellowship

$3 million award will further cloud computing and cryptography research

Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo, head of the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) School of Computing and Information Technology and the Institute of Cybersecurity and Cryptology (iC2) has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellowship.

Through the $3 million fellowship, Professor Susilo aims to deliver new cryptography solutions, namely pragmatic cryptography, to enhance computing security.

Since its emergence in 2006, cloud computing – accessing computing software, power and data through third-party services, rather than via local devices – has been widely adopted by business and individuals. Today cloud computing encompasses third-party services offering remote data storage and computing facilities with benefits of reduced IT cost, scalability and flexibility for business, and reduced emissions.

Despite its ubiquity, over 95% of cybersecurity professionals surveyed in a 2021 report confirmed they are at least moderately concerned about public cloud security, and further adoption of cloud-based technologies has been hampered by questions of data access and security.

“Since 2006, when large companies like Google and Amazon first began using ‘cloud computing’ to describe web-based access to software, computer power and files, my research has focused on cryptography and its applications in cloud security,” Professor Susilo said.

“Cryptography is critical in protecting data and computing for confidentiality and integrity. Current cryptography solutions are advanced but idealised and incompatible with existing cloud applications.”

The research undertaken by Professor Susilo and his team will lead to the formation of design principles of pragmatic cryptography and concrete cryptography construction methods to achieve secure cloud computing solutions, revolutionising cloud computing and positioning Australia as a global leader in innovative technologies that provide user trust in cloud security.

“This ARC Laureate fellowship means a lot to me and to the Institute of Cybersecurity and Cryptology (iC2). At iC2 we have been conducting research in the area of cryptology for more than 30 years, and this fellowship is a testament that the work that we are doing is at the forefront of this research field,” Professor Susilo added.

“This research fellowship will narrow the gap between theoretical cryptography and its applications in cloud computing. The project outcomes will be adoptable in practice to secure the cloud technology.”

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Sustainable Futures) Professor David Currow said the work of Professor Susilo and his team is at the forefront of technological advancements.

“The endorsement of the ARC through this Laureate Fellowship cements the value of the visionary research at iC2 and will bring about significant improvements to the way we all operate in the online world, the impacts of which we are just beginning to imagine.”