Where does expertise lie in cybersecurity research in the UK, but also internationally? We asked six cybersecurity researchers in the UK to indicate the locus of the most important contemporary work.
While we would not claim to have done a comprehensive study, we found a good deal of convergence through this reputational review of the field.
The top five sites that these experts identified (not in order of priority) were:
- Cambridge University’s Security Group in the Computer Laboratory: one of the longest running security programmes in UK universities.
Contact: Ross Anderson at Ross.Anderson@cl.cam.ac.uk
- Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre, which brings together relevant Oxford departments, and associated centres beyond Oxford, such as in the Cybersecurity Capacity Building Project.
- Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast, founded in 2008 in the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, and claimed to be the UK’s largest university cyber security research lab.
Contact: Professor John McCanny, Principal Investigator firstname.lastname@example.org
- Royal Holloway’s Information Security Group, University of London
Contact: ISG Administrator email@example.com
- UCL’s Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research, set up in 2012, by GCHQ in partnership with the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Contact: Professor Angela Sasse firstname.lastname@example.org
Other UK programmes that were mentioned, but not by multiple experts, were:
- Bristol Security Centre, University of Bristol
- Institute for Security Science and Technology, Imperial College London
- Security Lancaster, Lancaster University
- Academic Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity, University of Southampton
All of the above centres have been awarded Centre of Excellence status in cyber security research under the BIS/RCUK/EPSRC scheme. While they were not mentioned by our sample of experts, two other centres are among those awarded Centre of Excellence status in cybersecurity research: Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security, Newcastle University and the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham.
In response to more international programmes, all of the nominations by our reviewers identified US programmes as the most significant, including:
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in the Harvard Kennedy School. This centre has launched a Cyber Security Initiative as part of a project known as Project Minerva, a joint effort of the Department of Defense, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.
- CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University, perhaps the largest cyber security group in the US, joining researchers across more than six departments.
- Cornell University’s Department of Computer Science that lists security as one of the major strengths of the department
- Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University
- The Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS), Dartmouth
- Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute (CSPRI) at The George Washington University
- Stanford Security Laboratory, Stanford University
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) National Security Directorate, Cybersecurity
We hope this list stimulates discussion about where relevant expertise on cyber security for the CDEC lies in the UK and abroad. This represents work in progress, and any feedback on our list to date would be very welcome. If there are centres omitted or where you wish to provide information about specific areas of strengths or contacts, please comment or email.
Thanks to our students Elizabeth Dubois, Gillian Bolsover and Heather Ford, who helped conduct, review and collate this research, and to the experts in the field for their supporting input in this area.
Bill Dutton and Bill Imlah