CCSRI Member Profile: Meet Geetika Verma

CCSRI Member Profile: Meet Geetika Verma

Geetika Verma is a Lecturer, Early Career Development Fellow (ECDF) in the School of Science for Mathematics and Cyber Security at STEM College of RMIT University. She teaches both Maths and Cyber Security at the University and has been a member of the RMIT Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation (CCSRI) since 2021.


Verma grew up in India and earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Delhi in 2016 before moving to Australia. A passionate mathematician with years of research, course development and teaching experience, Verma sat down with the CCSRI team to chat about her journey into cyber security and what lies ahead.

When she first moved to Australia in 2015, Verma worked as a Research Associate at the University of South Australia. After four years in Adelaide, Verma made the move to Melbourne where she worked as a Teaching Associate at Monash University and Active Learning Facilitator at Deakin University before settling at RMIT in April 2021. Whether or not she knew it, this next step with RMIT was the start of a new career chapter, “Before I started my RMIT journey that April, I had no cybersecurity experience, but I was a mathematician, so I was into mathematics all of the time.”

This transition into the cybersecurity world was a busy, but smooth one for Verma. Her background in mathematics was a natural fit for cryptography, the mathematical foundation of cyber security. “Math and cyber come together all the time,” she says. Verma wasn’t only face to face with the numbers and technical side of cyber, but early on, she also got a sense for the human element.


Geetika awarding a certificate to a Masters of Cyber Security student. Geetika awarding a certificate to a Masters of Cyber Security student.

One of her first projects after starting at RMIT was to write a course for the Masters of Cyber Security program, which consisted of researching and compiling a bunch of case studies. Throughout the course development process, Verma interviewed industry experts, RMIT staff and CCSRI members, which deepened her understanding of the cyber landscape and demonstrated the breadth of skills required within the sector. Verma’s knowledge in and interest of the field led her to join Matt Skerritt and Joanne Hall on an industry-based research project for TIDE. Working alongside her colleagues and fellow CCSRI members, the TIDE project is ongoing, focusing on security and vulnerability checks on a decentralised authority network.

Not only did Verma’s deep dive into the world of cybersecurity open doors in research, but her learnings and experience have enriched her ability to teach and interact with students in meaningful ways. Verma not only teaches the case studies she developed for the Masters of Cyber Security students, but within her role as primary Course Coordinator for the program, she also helps students liaise with industry and secure internships. It’s fitting that Verma is a key touchpoint for students at the start and the end of their Masters of Cyber Security journey, as her proactive approach to engagement and enthusiasm for seeing her students grow is genuine. Verma reflects on the past two years at RMIT and her role with internship placements,

I’ve been able to establish a lot of industry connections, and I really enjoy matching our students with our industry partners.

She’s also quick to acknowledge that it’s a team effort, “I am not alone. I always have help from Matt or Amy or Joanne, it will always take more than one staff member to best mentor our students.” Verma will share further insights into her work with industry and student engagement at AISA’s upcoming CyberCon in Melbourne. Featured within the conference’s Think Tank speaker series, Verma will speak to how universities and industry can better connect and bridge the gap using case studies of research projects from the cybersecurity classroom.

Looking further ahead, Verma is optimistic about the future of the cyber security sector. Even though the lack of gender diversity in the classroom is still noticeable, it’s improving. Verma estimates about 70% of her classrooms are still male, but the enrolment among females is increasing. Once again, Verma demonstrates that making progress is about being proactive and strategic. “When I am engaging external speakers to come and visit the classroom, I make the effort to invite women when and where possible, because it’s important to have that representation. As a result, roughly 40% of the speakers that come to my class are female.”

I hope that all of these individual efforts will add up to something bigger.

Our conversation ends, Verma makes sure to highlight that the Masters of Cyber Security teaching staff is more than 50% female – sometimes we have to be the change we wish to see in the world.

11 August 2023


11 August 2023


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.