University of Waikato cybersecurity

cybersecurity researcher

Crime fighter

Ryan Ko is a cybersecurity researcher who is helping users protect themselves online.

When it comes to fighting cybercrime, cybersecurity researcher Ryan Ko is passionate about enabling people to take control. “When faced with a cybersecurity situation, most people don’t know what to do,” says Ryan. “My focus is creating do-it-yourself cybersecurity so users can help themselves.”

While working as a researcher at Hewlett-Packard’s Cloud and Security Laboratory, Ryan noticed a lack of postgraduate opportunities in cybersecurity research and training.

To fill the gap, he was instrumental in establishing New Zealand’s first Master of Cyber Security programme at the University of Waikato in 2013.

“The University of Waikato has a rich history of pioneering computer science innovation, including bringing the internet to New Zealand,” he says. “So introducing a more systematic way of teaching cybersecurity was a logical step.”

Ryan also launched the Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato lab, which focuses on developing tools that help users fight cybercrime without needing help from an expert. When posting pictures on social media, for example, users are able to see if someone is secretly accessing their information and effectively resolve the issue themselves.

Ryan encourages students to focus on building game-changing solutions that can change lives. “There is more to cybersecurity than hacking. We need to focus on smart inventions that can change the world.”

–  Gemma Conroy

TO GET THERE: Master of Cyber Security, University of Waikato 

Author: Breana