HDR Scholarship - Cybersecurity Threats and Corporate Outcomes

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Cybersecurity Threats and Corporate Outcomes'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

Cybersecurity breaches are costly to organisations, costing approximately USD3.86 billion per attack globally, according to research by the Ponemon Institute. Cybersecurity breaches are a significant concern for Australian firms since it costs Australian companies approximately AUD1 billion annually. Yet, there is no research on the determinants and consequences of cyber-attacks in Australia. The aim is to fill this research gap.

It is important to study the scale and determinants of cybersecurity threats faced by Australian firms and whether future cyber-attacks can be predicted. Cybersecurity is one of the important national research priorities. The entire information economy, including government, industry, defence, police, and emergency services, is underpinned by its cyber infrastructure. Australia's cyber infrastructure, however, is vulnerable to malicious actors' abuse and is subject to harm caused by non-malicious incidents such as natural disasters, malfunction of facilities, human error and other accidents. It is important to ensure the security and resilience of this essential infrastructure. Our project is important because it will provide insights into factors that make cyber-attacks more likely. It will also provide information on which industries are likely to be specifically affected. This information will be useful to regulators as it will allow them to formulate appropriate policies to protect these industries from cyber-attack.

The project can also lead the way to answer deeper questions relating to cyber-attacks, including companies’ spending on cybersecurity to assess whether such spending is adequate to mitigate cybersecurity risks. Whether remedial steps taken in response to successful cyber-attacks are sufficient to protect against future cyber-attacks. What is the role of government regulation in mitigating cyber-attacks and how regulation complements company strategies in making Australian companies more cyber safe. Finally, what are effective and useful infrastructure that exists and what are new infrastructure the government should build. Since companies build their own and the government provide nation-wide infrastructure to make companies cyber safe. The costs and benefits can be compared between companies building their own and the government providing nation-wide infrastructure.

Project aim

The aim of this project is threefold:

  1. Introduce a novel methodology used in actuarial studies to identify the determinants of cyber-attacks in Australia, considering which firms are not targeted, which firms successfully repel cyber-attacks and which firms are affected by such attacks. The project will also study the determinants of different types of cyber-attack. This will make the project the most comprehensive and sophisticated study on cyber-attacks. Such detailed analysis is missing in  the extant literature.
  2. Examine the impact of cyber-attacks on firms’ financial performance and other corporate outcomes.
  3. Develop a prediction model based on our analysis above that will allow us to make predictions about the likelihood of attack and the quantum of loss arising from such attacks.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Saturday 15 October 2022


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • programming skills in Python, Stata and R
  • working knowledge in statistics and econometrics

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Sagarika Mishra

Dr Sagarika Mishra
Email Dr Sagarika Mishra
+61 3 925 17150