The University of Southampton

Southampton recognised as Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research

Published: 6 April 2017

The University of Southampton has again been recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) in the renewal of a Government strategy protecting and promoting the UK in a digital world.

Researchers from the University, led by Professor Vladimiro Sassone from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), will use the associated funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to support a range of activities that will help make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

The renewal of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) ACE-CSR scheme, part of the UK Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, was announced this week by Minister for the Cabinet Office the Rt Hon. Ben Gummer MP.

The University of Southampton was first recognised as an ACE-CSR in 2012 and has consolidated its expertise in the academic discipline by launching a Cyber Security Academy as well as MEng and MSc degrees which have been awarded Provisional Certification as GCHQ-certified Master’s degrees in cyber security. This spring, ECS has also formed a dedicated Cyber Security Research Group to provide a hub for world-leading education and research.

Professor Vladimiro Sassone, Director of the Cyber Security Academy and Roke Manor Research / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair, said: "I'm pleased that Southampton’s tremendous growth in Cyber Security has been recognised and am looking forward with excitement, purpose and commitment to the next five years. Our ambition is to strengthen our offering in both education and research, engaging inside the University while delivering impact at regional and national levels.”

The ACE-CSR scheme is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the NCSC (which is part of GCHQ), the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance and Research Councils UK. The scheme aims to enhance the quality and scale of academic cyber security research and postgraduate training in the UK, make it easier for potential users to access the best UK research and postgraduate training, and help develop a shared vision and aims among the UK cyber security research community.

Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth at the NCSC, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many [14] leading universities committed to trailblazing improvements to the UK’s cyber security research. At the NCSC, we are absolutely committed to maintaining and improving our already strong reputation as a global leader in cutting edge research, and look forward to collaborating with these establishments to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. “These universities conduct world class cyber security research and this initiative will improve the way academics, government and business work together – benefiting the whole of the country.”

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: “This Government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online. That is why we need truly ground-breaking research to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of cyber attacks.”

“By engaging with business, industry and academia,” he added, “we will ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat to the UK.”

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