When Dr. Nir Kshetri turned his attention to ‘the cloud,’ little did he know his subject of his research would soon become one of the hottest topics in the cyberworld.

Cloud technology allows businesses and people to store anything from music and photos to documents in places where they can be accessed from home or on-the-go. With the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft offering these services, cloud technology is on the rise. But so is the potential for cybercrime. That’s where Kshetri, an associate professor of business administration in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, comes in.

It feels good to know that we are conducting research that is useful, relevant in practice, relevant to the communities and addresses specific challenges facing the global economy.

Cloud security is a major concern now, he says.  Previously, few researchers were interested in cybersecurity. Most crimes were committed by teenagers, who did it for fun or for attention.  But a few short years later, hackers realized there was money to be made by stealing digitized wealth such as bank account or credit card information and intellectual property in various forms.

“A lot of these companies worry more about cybercrime than physical crimes,” Kshetri says. “More than two billion people use the internet all over the world. Sixty-nine percent of people have become victims at one point in time. And it’s happening more and more. That’s why this topic became popular.”

Kshetri was one of the first people to research cybersecurity, especially from a business perspective. His research focuses on managerial policy and business aspects.

These days, Kshetri is in demand all around the world, facilitating workshops and even speaking before the International Telecommunications Union, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues. His book, “The Global Cybercrime Industry: Economic, Institutional and Strategic Perspectives,” explores the $1 trillion cybercrime industry. He has also received an offer from Palgrave Macmillan for his second book on cybercrime in developing economies, titled “Cybercrime in the Global South.”

He’s pleased that his work has real-world applications.

“Many executives think that less than 1 percent of academic research conducted by business school faculties is useful for practices,” he says. “In this regard it feels good to know that we are conducting research that is useful, relevant in practice, relevant to the communities and addresses specific challenges facing the global economy.”

Read some of Kshetri’s tips on keeping your cyber-self safe in the summer 2011 issue of UNCG Magazine. Read more about Kshetri and other professors whose research has drawn national attention in the fall 2011 issue of UNCG Magazine.

Photography by Chris English, University Relations