The University of Oxford has been recognised for a second time as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). Oxford is one of 14 universities recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), based on review by a panel of experts. This was announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Rt Hon. Ben Gummer MP, on 3rd April.
The University of Oxford was first recognised as an ACE-CSR in 2012. In that first round, the work of ten academics was included; but since then the activity in Cyber Security at Oxford has grown and developed so that nineteen were in the recent submission.
Professor Andrew Martin, who is the lead for the ACE-CSR in Oxford, said: “In Oxford we have embraced an inter-disciplinary approach to Cyber Security. Our research network is centred on Computer Science, but embraces many in the social sciences, including the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Saïd Business School. Many perspectives are needed if we are to make progress in solving Cyber Security problems.”
The Centre of Excellence gives the University a great platform from which to engage with the world beyond academia: a variety of Cyber Security research projects are engaged with industrial, government and civil society partners (see e.g. https://www.cybersecurity.ox.ac.uk/research/projects). Two of our experts received Oxford Impact Awards in 2017: Professor Ivan Martinovic for his research into the security and privacy aspects of the communications technologies used in air traffic control and surveillance in civil aviation, and Professor Cas Cremers for his work on the Transport Layer Security Protocol, which has led to significant improvements in the next generation of internet security. In 2016 Professor Bill Roscoe was given a lifetime award for external engagement and promoting impact of his pioneering work applying formal verification tools in industry.
There are a number of large initiatives within the University that contribute to the Cyber Security Oxford network: the EPSRC/DCMS-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security, the EU-funded Cyber Studies Programme in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, funded by the UK Foreign Office, and the Governments of Norway and the Netherlands. Oxford Cyber Security researchers are also involved with national flagship projects like the PETRAS Internet of Things hub and the Alan Turing Institute. Cyber Security research in the University spans topics as diverse as cryptography, wireless security, formal verification, situational awareness and analytics, online identity, and understanding how countries and communities interact with (and through) technology.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer said:
“Britain has to stay one step ahead of the often invisible cyber wars taking place on our networks, in our homes, and across our infrastructure.
“We can only do that with truly ground-breaking research. It is critical that the entire UK maintains its strength in this area, from London to Lancaster and from Belfast to Edinburgh.”