14/07/2020

Professor Rossouw von Solms is an emeritus professor from Nelson Mandela University. At the time of retirement, Rossouw was also a Distinguished Professor at the university. Prior to retirement, he was the Director of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS) at Nelson Mandela University and prior to this position, he. headed the Department of Information Technology for more than 17 years.


He holds a PhD from the former Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), having received a MSc from RAU, BSc (Hons) from UNISA and a BSc and HDE from the former University of Port Elizabeth. Rossouw also holds a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification.

Rossouw has been involved with the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Technical Committee (TC) 11, since 1993. He was the chairman of IFIP Working Group 11.1, dealing with Information Security Management, from 1996 to 2001. Furthermore, he served as the vice-chairperson of IFIP TC 11 from 2007 to 2013.

He is a past-president of the South African Institute of Computer Science and Information Technology (SAICSIT) and has been a board member for a number of years.

Rossouw has been editor or co-editor of nine conference proceedings, have edited or co-edited ten technical reports and serve, or served, on the editorial board and review panel of several conferences and journals, including Computers & Security and Information & Computer Security.

He has published and presented more than 220 peer-reviewed research papers. His academic work attracted more than 8000 citations to date (July 2020). Most of these papers were published and presented in the field of Information and Cyber Security as well as IT Governance. He has successfully supervised 67 students to a Master’s (50) and Doctoral (17) degrees.

Rossouw is a rated researcher by the National Research Foundation (NRF) since 1995 and is currently in his third cycle as a B-rated researcher. He received the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust research award for senior Technikon staff in 1995. Four years later – in 1999 - he received a Literati Award for Excellence from the MCB University Press for a series of articles published in the journal Information Management & Computer Security on information security management. In 2001 he received an IFIP Silver Core Award from IFIP for outstanding services over a long period. In 2003 he was named the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA), Eastern Cape Chapter, ICT Person of the Year.

Rossouw has researched the fields of information and cybersecurity, as well IT governance, over a period more than thirty years. The importance of these research efforts is highlighted below.

Cybersecurity has become a matter of global interest and importance. Several nations have recently published documents outlining their official stance regarding cyberspace, cybercrime, and cybersecurity. The Whitehouse (2011) outlined a cyber-strategy which not only provides the stance of the United States of America (USA) on cyber-related issues but which also provides a unified approach towards the USA’s engagement with other countries regarding cyber issues. The United Kingdom (UK) lists cybersecurity as a top priority and committed £650m over four years for a transformative National Cyber Security Programme (Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, 2011).

Information and cybersecurity have become critical to any government, enterprise as well as individual today. From a governmental point of view, all national services and infrastructures, like; electrical power, water provision, transport, healthcare, etc. are dependent on critical information and cyber services and infrastructure. Similarly, any enterprise gathers, stores, process and transmit valuable and sometimes confidential and private information. From a personal perspective, all of us holds and uses critical information, like user-IDs and passwords, bank and credit card numbers and access codes, etc. All these information sources and cyber infrastructures need to be protected. Such protection is usually a combination of technical, operational, and administrative safeguards. Information and cybersecurity is thus a discipline that continues to protect all of this valuable information and cyber resources and assets, throughout all the technical developments in the information and cyber technologies. The research foci of Rossouw’s research were mostly on the human and management aspects of information and cybersecurity.