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

Lead Research Organisation: University of Kent
Department Name: Sch of Computing

Abstract

Cyber Security has been established as a university level priority area at the University of Kent. Our Cyber Security research has had a strong focus on interdisciplinarity since 2012, when the university wide Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) was established. We believe that Cyber Security challenges cannot be solved using only technological solutions, and that we need the involvement of researchers from other disciplines. A collaborative approach allows us to benefit from, and be inspired by, theories and solutions from disciplines such as psychology, physics, biology, and social sciences. Interdisciplinary collaboration has led Kent researchers to a number of major successes in external funding.

Cyber Security capabilities at the University of Kent are on four main research themes: Authentication and Authorisation; Communication and Network Security; Security Testing and Verification; and Socio-technical Security. We also have capabilities on four other cross-cutting topics: applications of AI related technologies in Cyber Security; digital forensics and cybercrime; information hiding; and quantum cyber security. Our work on AI spans all four research themes, and covers diverse techniques including machine learning, data mining, information visualisation, discrete optimisation, and soft computing.

In addition to conducting cutting-edge research, we aim to make KirCCS an innovation and impact creation hub in Cyber Security through activities on education (e.g., supporting the NCSC-certified MSc in Cyber Security programme at Kent), public engagement (e.g., conducting Cyber Security surveys and working with public media to inform and raise awareness of the general public about Cyber Security), serving government (e.g., helping law enforcement agencies to fight against threats such as cybercrime), helping industry (e.g., providing consultancies to and co-exploiting research results with industrial partners), and technology transfer (e.g., through patenting and university spin-offs). Cyber Security researchers at Kent have an excellent track record in all these areas.

The Kent ACE-CSR will work with other ACEs-CSR to enhance the international profile of UK Cyber Security research.

Planned Impact

In addition to its academic impact, interdisciplinary research on Cyber Security at the proposed Kent ACE-CSR will benefit the society as a whole in at least three different ways: 1) the technical research we do will help build better technologies for protecting people and businesses in the cyber(-physical) world; 2) our work in the Socio-Technical Security theme and research done by our Associate Members from other disciplines will generate impact beyond technologies, e.g., approaches to better understanding of human behaviour, better information security management procedures and policies, better approaches to educating people and engaging end users, better cybercrime investigation and prevention methods, better privacy and data protection mechanisms improving people's lives in the cyber(-physical) world; 3) the impact creation and public engagement activities planned will help transfer our research to the real world.

Publications

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