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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
EducationUniversity of Manchester recognised as Academic Centre of Excellence in cyber security...

University of Manchester recognised as Academic Centre of Excellence in cyber security research

The University of Manchester has been named an Academic Centre of Excellence (ACE-CSR) in recognition of its internationally leading cyber security research.

The university is one of 21 to receive the status by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – the UK’s lead technical authority on cyber security.

It is one of several initiatives outlined in the UK government’s National Cyber Strategy ‘Protecting and promoting the UK in a digital world’, which describes how the government is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

The scheme aims to enhance the quality and scale of academic cybersecurity research and postgraduate training being undertaken in the UK; make it easier for potential users of research to identify the best cybersecurity research and postgraduate training that the UK has to offer; and help to develop a shared vision and aims among the UK cybersecurity research community, inside and outside academia.

The centre will be led by the university’s Centre of Digital Trust and Society, which has a long history of world-leading cyber security research and will be directed by Professor Nicholas Lord and co-directed by professor Daniel Dresner and Dr Mustafa Mustafa.

Nicholas Lord said: “We are very proud to be recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. Receiving this status is further recognition of our long-standing commitment to world-leading cyber security research and key to the realisation of our five-year research plan.

“Our cyber security research has been a focal point for the University since founding our Digital Futures platform in 2018, with our sociotechnical approach to cyber security coming together recognisably in 2021 by the creation of our Centre for Digital Trust and Society – a truly unique centre with a strong interdisciplinary nature.

“Over the next five years we hope that we can use our ACE-CSR recognition to strengthen our collaborations with other ACEs and NCSC, as well as enhance our collaborations with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority with a view to integrating cybersecurity into the city region’s business community.”

Professor Colette Fagan, vice president for research at The University of Manchester, added: “I am thrilled that our University has been recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. This achievement, led by our Centre for Digital Trust and Security, underscores our commitment to pioneering cyber security research and innovation through interdisciplinary collaborative research. This approach and ambition is vital to ensure that the benefits of the rapid pace of technological change are developed in ways that ensure a safe and more secure digital world for our citizens and organisations.”

The University was required to show evidence of NCSC’s tough standards to be considered, including: commitment from the university’s leadership team to support and invest in the university’s cyber security research capacity and capability; a critical mass of academic staff engaged in leading-edge cyber security research; a proven track record of producing high impact cyber security research; and sustained funding from a variety of sources to ensure the continuing financial viability of the research team’s activities.

Dr Mustafa, senior lecturer in systems and software security at The University of Manchester, said: “While our cybersecurity research across the Department of Computer Science provides the fundamentals and foundations of our Centre’s research, our social science academics provide the societal relevance and context: secure cyber- and digital systems are grounded in everyday human behaviours and interactions.

“It is for this reason that we coordinate our sociotechnical cybersecurity research activities ensuring the people and social factors remain central. We do this by engaging in cross-cluster and cross-disciplinary research activities, realising our sociotechnical work through internally and externally funded research.”

Over the next five years, researchers will work on a wide range of projects from cyber security controls, building secure and safe (AI) software to counter threats, through understanding offending and victimisation of cybercrimes, to the application of our cyber security research in development and industry, as well as the cyber risks to political-economic systems and organisational workplaces, and the need for data privacy and security.

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