Roke becomes founding member of GCHQ-supported Cyber Security Academy

The shared vision for the Cyber Security Academy is for it to become an internationally-recognised hub for cyber security activity

The shared vision for the Cyber Security Academy is for it to become an internationally-recognised hub for cyber security activity

Today, the University of Southampton launched a new Cyber Security Academy at the IA15 event in London hosted by GCHQ. Roke Manor Research (Roke) is one of three founding members from world-leading cyber and defence organisations which aim to make the UK more resilient to cyber attack.

The shared vision for the Cyber Security Academy is for it to become an internationally-recognised hub for cyber security activity. Indeed, this is one of the first examples of the UK Government’s CyberInvest initiative (more of which anon).

Roke will now connect its cyber research activities, industrial expertise and training capacity with the other Cyber Security Academy partners emanating from academia, Government and industry.

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 in addition to 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.”

Stream of cyber security graduates

Left to Right: David Cole (managing director at Roke), Dr Elizabeth Stockel (programme manager for cyber at DSTL), Professor Sir Christopher Snowden (vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton) and Dr Andrew Tyler (CEO for the UK and Europe at Northrop Grumman)

Left to Right: David Cole (managing director at Roke), Dr Elizabeth Stockel (programme manager for cyber at DSTL), Professor Sir Christopher Snowden (vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton) and Dr Andrew Tyler (CEO for the UK and Europe at Northrop Grumman)

The Cyber Security Academy will provide a stream of cyber security graduates for industry and train the existing workforce through an industry-relevant cyber security programme.

It will also lead on innovative research, consultancy and enterprise activities, in turn creating new employment opportunities by attracting companies and talented individuals interested in cyber security and related sectors.

Professor Vladimiro Sassone, director of the Cyber Security Academy at the University of Southampton, explained: “The increasingly alarming statistics on cyber attacks, such as those revealed by the recent TalkTalk data hack, make the Academy a timely initiative fully aligned with the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy. With society growing ever more cyber-dependent, cyber security calls for systematic innovation through a closer interaction between industry and academia.”

Roke joins the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and Northrop Grumman as the founding partners of the Cyber Security Academy which is based in the Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) at the University of Southampton.

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 by GCHQ in November 2013 with a remit to extend knowledge through original research and provide high-quality graduates in the field of cyber security.

£6.5 million CyberInvest scheme to boost UK cyber security research

GCHQ and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have launched CyberInvest, a new £6.5 million industry and Government scheme to support cutting-edge cyber security research and protect the UK in cyber space.  The scheme enables industry to draw upon the expertise of GCHQ, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and leading academics and invest in the strategically important research areas critical to protecting the UK.

Launched today at IA15, the Government’s high-profile information assurance event, CyberInvest will build a community of industry, Government and academia whose constituent members are committed to sustained investment in cyber security research.

While many companies invest in research, some find it difficult to target the right opportunities and, where investment is made, it’s not always visible or focused.

Ed Vaizey MP, the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “CyberInvest is an exciting initiative which brings industry, Government and academia together and builds on the UK’s reputation as a global leader for cyber security research. Over the last four years we’ve invested over £20 million in UK cyber security research, and the new CyberInvest scheme will play an important role in our ongoing work to help protect UK citizens and businesses online.”

The UK is a thriving centre for world-leading research and its application across the breadth of cyber security subjects. This continues to attract a growing body of world-class academics who can see long-term career opportunities in their fields, facilitating cyber security innovation, creating new opportunities for growth and helping the UK remain at the forefront of cyber security research.

Existing UK cyber security research funded through the National Cyber Security Strategy and EPSRC has helped to develop innovative and ground-breaking products, such as funding nearly 100 PhD research students and contributing to the recent CESG password guidance.

Companies of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to join the CyberInvest partnership in recognition of the widespread interest in this area of research. Minimum investment levels range from £10,000 for micro companies (<10 people) through to £500,000 (>250 people).

To date, 18 companies have committed to invest £6.5 million over the next five years.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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