Basie Von Solms


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Basie von Solms


Prof SH (Basie) von Solms is a Research Professor in the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Johannesburg in Johannesburg, South Africa. He took statuary retirement at the end of 2016, but had been appointed since 2017 on a contractual basis.

He started his academic career in 1970 when he was appointed as a Lecturer in Computer Science at the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in Johannesburg. In 1973 he was awarded one of the first PhDs in Computer Science in South Africa. In 1974 he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, and in 1978 he was promoted to full Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science.

During his career he was instrumental in establishing Computer Science as an academic subject in SA. His interest in Information Security started in the 1980s, and he has been called the ‘Father of Information Security’ in SA. During the years he concentrated on Information Security Governance, and in the last few years on Cyber Security.

He is presently the Director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg as well as an Associate Director of the Global Cybersecurity Capacity Centre (GCSCC) of the University of Oxford in the UK. He is also a member of the Technical Boards of the GCSCC and the Cybersecurity Capacity Centre of South Africa (C3SA).

In 2018 he was appointed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a member of the WEF’s Global Futures Council for Cyber Security (till 2019).

Prof von Solms is a Past President of IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing (, and presently an Honorary Member of IFIP.

He is a Fellow of the Computer Society of South Africa, a Fellow of the BCS (Chartered Institute for IT), a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford and a Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP).

Basie specializes in research and consultancy in the area of Information and Cyber Security, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection, Cyber Crime and other related cyber aspects. He had written and presented more than 150 papers regarding this field - most of which have been presented at international research conferences and/or published in international subject journals. In addition, he has supervised more than 120 postgraduate students in the ICT field, which includes 30 PhDs.

He is rated as a researcher of international stature under the South African National Research Foundation's criteria.

In 2016 Basie was elected as a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Membership criteria states:

"The core function of any national science academy is to honour and recognise the country's most outstanding and celebrated scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy."

In 2011 Basie was awarded the Alumni Achievers award by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He started his academic studies at the NMMU in 1965 when it was still the University of Port Elizabeth.

In 2010 he received the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) Distinguished Service in ICT Award. Criteria for this Award include:

"A candidate receiving the CSSA Distinguished Service in ICT Award must have made an exceptional career-length contribution to the ICT industry."

Also in 2010, The South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) awarded the Pioneers in Computer Science and Information Technology Award to Prof Von Solms for his contribution to Information Technology, and specific Information Security, over the last 40 years. He was also honoured for his international role as President of IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing.

The 2010 IFIP TC-11 Kristian Beckman Award was also awarded to Prof Von Solms to honour him for:

"...his never tiring work towards broadening the meaning of Information Security in various aspects, eg by adding management aspects to the academic perception of information security and by creating the field of Security Governance. The Award was also to honour his work as Chair of TC-11, where he strongly demonstrated the importance of information security within IFIP and the whole field of information processing, and his various achievements in the area of IT Security Education on all levels. "

In 2009 the book "Information Security Governance", co-authored with his brother, Professor Rossouw von Solms, was published internationally by Springer. The book documents the experience and research resulting from cooperation between the two brothers over the last 10 years.
The South African Academy for Science and Arts announced in April 2006 that the MT Steyn Medal for Scientific and Technical Achievement for 2006 had been awarded to Prof Basie von Solms. The Academy describes the award as follows:

"The medal is one of the most important awards made by the Academy for leadership on the highest level in an area of science and technology. The award is the crown on a life time career, and can only be awarded to a person once in his/her life time. The award reflects the candidate's creative contributions towards the development, organization and continuous expansion of a branch or branches of scientific or technology, where such contribution has played a significant part in the advancement of science and technology, and had also been to the benefit of the country. "

In 2005 he was awarded the ICT Leadership Award by the South African IT industry and the Computer Society of South Africa for 'exceptional thought leadership qualities and sustainable contribution to the development and growth of the South African IT Industry.'

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Last updated | 09 November 2022