World-leading cyber security research praised as DMU named Academic Centre of Excellence


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De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been recognised for conducting world-leading cyber security research, having been named the East Midlands’ first ‘Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’ (ACE-CSR).

Margot James MP, Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), announced today that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have recognised DMU as an ACE-CSR, thanks to its pioneering research in incident response and cyber threat intelligence, industrial control systems and sociotechnical security.

Professor Helge Janicke, Head of DMU's Cyber Technology Institute, with Industrial Advisory Group representatives
Professor Helge Janicke, Technical Director of DMU's Cyber Technology Institute (centre left), with Industrial Advisory Group representatives

Digital Minister Margot James said: “The UK has some of the best minds in the cyber security field and it’s only right that we recognise those universities that can excel when it comes to carrying out world leading research. The global threat of cyber security is never far from our minds - we want to ensure that our best and brightest can help shape our national cyber security strategy.”

DMU’s Cyber Technology Institute (CTI) is a research hub which focuses on the development of knowledge and technologies to ensure a smart, safe and secure cyberspace. Members deliver research, training and consultancy services in the fields of cyber security, software engineering and smart systems.

“We are very proud of this achievement,” said Professor Eerke Boiten, Director of the CTI and Professor in Cyber Security at DMU. “Being named an ACE-CSR highlights our strong industry engagement and first class research capabilities.

“This recognition will strongly support our future plans for national and international collaborative research in topics such as industrial control systems, human factors in security, incident response, cybercrime and privacy.”

BT students in the cyber security lab at DMU
BT cyber security apprentices learn new skills in the Cyber Security Centre at DMU

The CTI at DMU is also supported through its highly engaged Industrial Advisory Group  (IAG), made up of BT, Deloitte, Rolls-Royce and Airbus, which host bi-annual meetings to review, discuss and advise on research, taught provision and to develop joint outreach activity.

“Working as an industry partner with DMU has enabled us to align research with the threats that we’re currently facing and the needs of our customers,” said Rob Partridge, Head of Commercial Development for Offensive Security (UK) at BT. “It’s also offered an invaluable opportunity to influence education and training in order to tackle the cyber skills gap.”

Dr Allan Cook, Cyber Associate Director at Deloitte, said: “Now is an exciting time in cyber security but, as the landscape becomes increasingly complex, a greater level of research is required. Our ongoing investment in DMU and supporting joint research into cyber risk definition, detection and response, will ensure defence strategies remain robust.”

Dr Robert Oates, Rolls-Royce Head of Product Cyber Security – Civil Aerospace, said: “Rolls-Royce is a key partner of the Cyber Security Group at DMU. We are delighted that the commitment to continue to produce high-quality, industry-relevant cyber security research has been recognised by ACE-CSR status.”

Professor Kevin Jones, Head of Cyber Security Architecture & Innovation at Airbus, added: “DMU joins a select group of top universities driving the cyber security industry, innovation and skills agenda in the UK forward and Airbus is proud to have once again helped a university receive this status.”

DMU is the joint-first post-92 university (former polytechnics that were granted full university status following the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act) to gain recognition as an ACE-CSR, alongside Northumbria University. In total there are now 19 ACE-CSRs in the UK.

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Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “As the first ACE-CSR in the East Midlands, I’m thrilled that DMU has met the standards for recognition. I’m looking forward to seeing more of its valuable contributions to cyber security research, particularly in field of industrial control systems.”

The ACE-CSR scheme is one of a number of initiatives in the Government's National Cyber Security Strategy: 'Protecting and Promoting the UK in a Digital World', which outlines how it is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

The scheme aims to:

  • Enhance the quality and scale of academic cyber security research and postgraduate training being undertaken in the UK
  • Make it easier for potential users of research to identify the best cyber security research and postgraduate training that the UK has to offer
  • Help to develop a shared vision and aims among the UK cyber security research community, inside and outside academia.

For more information about DMU’s CTI visit: www.dmu.ac.uk/research/centres-institutes/cti

Posted on Monday 24th June 2019

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