Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research - University of Cambridge

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Computer Laboratory


In the modern global society, everything is connected. Our communications, transport, finance, energy, commerce all rely on the continued availability of computers and networks. Ensuring the security of this critical infrastructure is a crucial priority for society.
We are committed to improving security and privacy in the digital society. Besides many world-leading research projects and commercial spin-offs in the security space, we have founded a national (Inter-ACE) and an international (Cambridge2Cambridge) cyber security competition to form a new generation of cyber defenders.

Planned Impact

This is not directly research but rather a support activity consisting of communication, dissemination and networking.
Cybersecurity (or lack thereof) has wide-ranging implications, from national security to industrial espionage to security of critical infrastructure such as communications, transport, utilities and banking: the underlying research ultimately affects all members of society.
Our action will engage not only the academic community but also relevant stakeholders in government and industry, to ensure that the cyber security research carried out at the University of Cambridge's ACE-CSR continues to be relevant and connected to real-world needs, and that those in a position to benefit from this research have awareness of what is being done and have the opportunity to suggest further desirable developments.
Our cyber security competitions and associated training events address the skills gap in cyber and are of immediate benefit to corporations and government agencies who need to recruit cyber experts.


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Description Networking with other leading cyber security institutions in UK and abroad is crucial to stay ahead. The bad guys are organised, so we must be as well. This is why we previously founded a national and an international cyber security competition, and contributed to founding an international cyber security centre of excellence.
Exploitation Route With respect to taking forward the Inter-ACE and Cambridge2Cambridge cyber security competitions, we have provided an extensive debriefing in the following tech report. This is already being used by our successors both at the national and international level.
Frank Stajano, Graham Rymer, Michelle Houghton. "Raising a new generation of cyber defenders-The first three years of the Cambridge2Cambridge and Inter-ACE cyber security
competitions". University of Cambridge Technical Report 922, June 2018, 307 pages, 68 MB. URL: UCAM-CL-TR-922.pdf
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

Description Won one further PhD scholarship award from GCHQ. Continued to promote cybersecurity links between Japan and UK at the invitation of the UK embassy in Tokyo and continued to steer the growth of the International Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (INCS-COE) linking UK, Japan, US and now also Israel and other countries. Participated in various business accelerators for the commercialisation of cyber security research. Participated in the annual ACE-CSR conference as delegates and presenters. Participated in various community-building cyber security initiatives from GCHQ, EPSRC, Royal Society, Digital Catapult, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, QUB CSIT and so forth. Continued to grow the national (Inter-ACE) and international (Cambridge2Cambridge) cyber security competitions that we founded in the previous ACE-CSR funding cycle. Produced a blueprint for government and industry to continue to support and grow the competitions, in the form of an extensive tech report. A team of four Cambridge students won first place in the national Atlantic Council's Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in 2019.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic