Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research - Lancaster University

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Computing & Communications

Abstract

The Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) is hosted within the University's flagship cross-disciplinary Security Lancaster Research Centre. Inaugurated by Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones in October 2012, the centre is nationally and internationally renowned for its inter-disciplinary, systems-centred research, that blends computer science and communications aspects of cyber security with approaches from behavioural and social sciences. Members of the ACE-CSR come from Computer Science, Communication Systems, Physics, Psychology, Management Science and the University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language (UCREL). The ACE-CSR is led by Professor Awais Rashid and involves 18 academic staff: 6 full professors (Rashid, Hutchison, Taylor, Roedig, Angelov and Ni), four Readers (Race, Mauthe, Young and Rayson), five senior lecturers (Yan, Nagaraja, Busby, Towse and Alexander) and 3 lecturers (Baron, Marnerides and Zhang).

We have a thriving doctoral programme with 16 students completing their studies in the period Jan. 2012 - Dec. 2016 and 32 new students starting. Most of the centre staff and students are principally housed in a dedicated wing of Infolab21, a £15M state-of-the-art research centre in ICT. In addition to office space for permanent staff, there is dedicated space housing the post-doctoral researchers and PhD students as well as lab space to house state-of-the-art testbeds on cyber security of industrial control systems, software-defined networks, network function virtualisation, and novel security interfaces for IoT. The centre also has a flagship inter-disciplinary MSc in Cyber Security - with its own dedicated teaching labs.

We participate in and lead a number of major programmes of research. For instance, we co-lead (together with Imperial) the Security and Safety Stream within the EPSRC Hub on Cyber Security of the Internet of Things (PETRAS) and are leading a new international effort on Research into a Cyber Secuity Body of Knowledge. We lead the ESRC Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) that we host. We also lead the EPSRC project SAI2: Situation-aware Information Infrastructure and participate in the EPSRC Programme Grant: TOUCAN: Towards Ultimate Convergence of All Networks. We also lead a major project funded by US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) on Atomically Unique Physically Unclonable Functions. We also participate in two of the three current UK Research Institutes in Cyber Security. We lead the MUMBA project as part of the Research Institute in Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems and also participate in the EPSRC DAPM project part of the Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security - Phase 2.

Planned Impact

The project's key focus is on maximising impact from the ACE-CSR status and funds. As such the project targets a number of stakeholder groups in industry, policing and governmental organisations interested in cyber security. A number of mechanisms are built into the project work plan to engage with these various stakeholders. The visits/secondments programme is specifically designed to ensure a close working relationship with such stakeholders by hosting them within the Lancaster ACE-CSR or by providing opportunities for Lancaster staff and students to spend a period of secondment at stakeholder sites. This will maximise the potential of transferring knowledge, tools and techniques from the ACE-CSR to industry and practice.

Additional mechanisms such as direct meetings with stakeholders are again designed to maximise the impact on industry and practice.

The ACE-CSR will not operate in isolation and there is an extensive network of industry, practice and community contacts open to us through existing projects under the umbrella of the ACE-CSR. All these will also provide invaluable pathways to impact from research within the ACE-CSR - in fact the ACE-CSR will enable us to harmonise these various contacts into a systematic approach for maximising impact from our cyber security research.

Publications

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