The University of Southampton

Cyber Security Research Centre awarded 'Centre of Excellence' status

Published: 
28 May 2012
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The Cyber Security Research Centre, led by Professor Vladimiro Sassone of ECS-Electronics and Computer Science, has been awarded ‘Academic Centre of Excellence’ status by the British intelligence agency GCHQ.

The Centre is one of just eight at UK universities, which have been identified to help make the UK government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber-attack by extending knowledge through original research and providing top-quality graduates in the field of cyber security.

The Centre of Excellence status was awarded by GCHQ as part of the Government's national cyber security strategy in partnership with Research Council UK's Global Uncertainties Programme and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Each Centre will receive a £50,000 capital investment and will benefit from closer collaboration with GCHQ, the UK cyber community and industry. The research conducted will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK government and enable businesses and consumers to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyberspace.

"We are very pleased to have our world-leading research in cyber security recognised through the awarding of this 'Centre of Excellence' status," said Professor Vladimiro Sassone, Director of the Centre. "Our well-integrated research portfolio links together aspects of internet privacy and trust, super-identity and access control, and secure hardware devices in one full circle.

"This places us in a unique position. Online activities underpin a growing range of day-to-day activities and there is a real need to ensure that users are supported in their online transactions and behaviours. Issues span the robustness of our national security and economic processes, to the security of digital information held by government and public bodies, and recognise the technical, legal, ethical and social responsibilities around our own personal privacy," he added.

Minister for Cyber Security Francis Maude said that promoting academic excellence is at the heart of the Government's Security Strategy. "We want to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business, by investing in the best expertise to keep pace with technological change," he emphasised. "These first eight Centres will play a vital role in boosting research, expanding our cyber skills base and fostering innovation in the field."

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts added: "Britain has one of the largest online economies in the world and a growing cyber security sector. Supporting universities to carry out more research and training skilled graduates to work in the cyber-security industry will help build further confidence in doing business online. There was strong competition among universities to be selected as a Centre of Excellence in cyber security research and I congratulate those who have been successful."

For further information on this news story contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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