The University of Southampton

University of Southampton launches new Academy to meet society’s cyber security challenge

Published: 
9 November 2015
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The University of Southampton is launching a Cyber Security Academy to help make government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber-attack.

The Southampton Cyber Security Academy (CSA) is a partnership between the University of Southampton and world-leading industry and Government partners to provide a focal point for cyber security research, education and outreach. The first partners of the Academy are the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Northrop Grumman and Roke Manor Research with further partners across a range of industries joining as the Academy grows into a vibrant community of businesses, centred in the South of England but with global influence.

The CSA was announced at a special signing today (Monday 9 November) during the IA15 event in London, hosted by GCHQ and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and supported by leaders from across Government, industry and academia. The CSA is one of the first examples of the UK Government’s CyberInvest initiative, also announced at IA15.

Professor Vladimiro Sassone of the Agents, Interaction and Complexity research group within Electronics and Computer Science is Director of the Academy. He said: “The increasingly alarming statistics on cyber-attacks and crime on a variety of targets, such as the recent TalkTalk data hack, make the Academy a timely initiative fully aligned with the UK National Cyber Security Strategy.

“The span of problems is huge, including the protection of critical infrastructures, of industrial and economic processes, of government, businesses and users’ data, privacy and interests. There is a pressing demand for cyber security, and in the next 20 years cyber research will have the same kind of momentous social and economic impact as medical research had in the twentieth century.”

David Cole, Managing Director of Roke, said: “In order to meet the demands of an increasing cyber security threat, the UK needs a continual flow of high quality engineers and consultants to protect our critical infrastructure and enterprises, and to protect personal data. The Cyber Security Academy partners will work together to drive forward the UK’s cyber capability and talent - attracting and developing world class experts into the cyber security industry, facilitating technology innovation, creating new opportunities and driving UK productivity.”

The CSA will provide a stream of cyber security graduates to industry and train existing workforce through an industry-relevant CPD program in Cyber Security. It will also lead innovative research, consultancy and enterprise activities, creating new employment opportunities by attracting companies and talented individuals interested in cyber security and related sectors.

Professor Sassone added: “With society growing ever more cyber-dependent, cyber security poses tremendous challenges and tremendous opportunities for the cyber industry. It also calls for systematic innovation that will have to pass through research and recruitment of fresh cyber talent. In other words, through a closer interaction between industry and academia.”

The Cyber Security Academy, based in the Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) at the University of Southampton, is due to formally launch in early 2016. For more information about the Academy and how to participate, go to: www.southampton.ac.uk/csa

The University of Southampton is one of just 13 Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, leading the national agenda to protect against cyber threats. The University of Southampton was awarded ACE-CSR status in November 2013 by GCHQ with a remit to extend knowledge through original research and provide high-quality graduates in the field of cyber security. ECS' MSc in Cyber Security is one of just 12 in the UK to be awarded Provisional Certification against the GCHQ Certified Master's degree in General Cyber Security standard, subject to a specific set of modules.

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