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Waikato Uni student wins big with cyber security solution

25 Oct 2016

A University of Waikato engineering student is tackling online surveys, with an aim to make them more secure.

Thye Way Phua has been awarded the Coresteel Buildings Innovation Award worth $5000 for his efforts.

“Most online survey results are not 100% secure and those systems that claim to be, only deploy end-to-end encryption,” he explains.

“However in end-to-end encryption, while communications between a user and a cloud service is encrypted, the system needs to decrypt the data in order to process it for results. It is during the decryption process that sensitive data is at risk of exposure.”

The method eliminates the need for decryption, while still retaining accuracy in the collected data.

Kyle Donovan, director of the Donovan Group and University of Waikato alumna, says Thye Way identified a real world problem and provided an innovative solution.

“Encouraging the next generation of engineers was the goal for this award and I have no doubt Thye Way will go on to even bigger and more complex projects as he continues his studies,” he says.  

Thye Way moved to New Zealand in 2013, to study engineering at the University of Waikato. He’s on track to complete a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree with first class honours, and next year will begin a PhD with the university’s Cyber Security Research Unit.

The Coresteel Buildings franchise network is owned by Donovan Group NZ. From their base in Whangarei, Donovan Group provides design and engineering services, and manufactures steel frames used in all Coresteel projects. 

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