Three UK universities have been recognised as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR), highlighting the country is leading the way in cyber security skills. The universities will now join 14 other institutions in a scheme forming part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) have identified the University of Kent, King’s College London, and Cardiff University as having first-rate research with scale and impact. The scheme they are joining is aiming to make the UK the safest place to be online and helping to support the country’s thriving digital economy.
The universities will now have the opportunity to bid for funding to develop cutting-edge research in cyber security, including at Doctoral level, as well as attend annual conferences and workshops.
The scheme aims to create a better understanding of the strength of the UK's academic capability in cyber security and identify areas where there are research opportunities or technical gaps. It makes collaboration between academia, business and government easier, and helps make sure cutting-edge research is turned into practical products and services. This includes developing tools to tackle mass marketing fraud online and better understand cyber criminals.
Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “These universities are doing fantastic research in cyber security and they are rightly being recognised for their pioneering work. We have some of the best minds in the world working in the field and thanks to this scheme they can now help shape our National Cyber Security Strategy and develop the talent and services of tomorrow.”
Professor Pete Burnap, Professor of Data Science and Cybersecurity, and Director of the Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity Analytics at Cardiff University added: “We are delighted to receive this recognition as it evidences our long track-record of research excellence in cyber security. Our core identity is the interdisciplinary fusion of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, a concept we call Cyber Security Analytics.
“AI is at the heart of the UK government’s industrial strategy and our aim is to innovate with AI to improve automated cyber threat intelligence and support decision making and policy responses to make the UK more secure for individuals, business and the government. We are proud to be the first Welsh university to be recognised by NCSC for our cyber research capability, and we hope to build on the impressive expertise that already exists across the region between academia, government and business.”
Dr Jose M. Such, Director of the Centre, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Informatics at King’s College London commented: “We are thrilled to be recognised for the high-quality socio-technical cyber security research we conduct at King’s College London. This recognition acknowledges the critical and diverse mass of researchers working on this area at King’s from different but complementary angles and points of view.
“Our research focuses on three main research themes and their interrelationship: the use of AI for cyber security together with the cyber security of AI itself, the theoretical aspects of cyber security like verification and testing, and the socio-political and strategic aspects of cyber security.”
Shujun Li, Professor of Cyber Security and Director of the Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) at the University of Kent, stated: “We are excited to be given the ACE-CSR status as an acknowledgement of the excellent research in cyber security at the University of Kent. Our research is truly interdisciplinary drawing on the expertise of colleagues from computer science and engineering as well as wider disciplines such as psychology, law, business and sociology. Our ambition is to have one of the largest and most productive cyber security research centres in the UK by 2022 as well as helping to grow the next-generation cyber security researchers.”
The ACE-CSR programme is supported by Government’s £1.9bn National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) 2016-2021.