UK universities awarded ‘Academic Centre of Excellence’ status in cyber security research

Francis Maude: Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security

Francis Maude: Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security

Two further UK universities conducting world class research in the field of cyber security have been recognised as an ‘Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’ by GCHQ in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security, The University of Kent and The University of Surrey now join eleven existing Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, bringing the total in the UK to 13.

These Centres of Excellence help make the UK Government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber attack by extending knowledge and enhancing skills in cyber security.

As Centres of Excellence, The University of Kent and The University of Surrey will help enhance the UK’s cyber knowledge base through original research and provide top quality graduates in the field of cyber security.

In addition, they will both be supporting GCHQ’s cyber defence mission and driving up the level of innovation in the UK.

All Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research also benefit from:

*Closer collaboration with GCHQ, the UK’s ‘Cyber Community’ and industry
*Partnership endorsement in associated publications and prospectuses
*Better understanding of Government and industrial cyber issues
*Helping to formulate the future cyber security research agenda

The scheme to recognise Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research was the first in a number of initiatives outlined in ‘Protecting and Promoting the UK in a Digital World’, the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. This document describes how Government is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

Development of necessary skills and knowledge

A GCHQ spokesperson commented: “We’re delighted that The University of Kent and The University of Surrey are joining the fold as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. We look forward to them joining the rest of academia currently working to ensure the UK develops the skills and knowledge it needs in order to prosper in cyber space.”

The new Academic Centres of Excellence will be recognised for a period of two years. During this time, GCHQ will continue to encourage the universities to develop their capabilities in order to meet the stringent criteria for recognition. This will position the UK cyber research community as the pre-eminent environment in which to conduct leading-edge research and, in turn, help to attract the best academics and research students in the UK and from overseas.

The research conducted will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK Government and enable businesses and consumers alike to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyber space.

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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