EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

Recent reports from the Royal Society, the government Cybersecurity strategy, as well as the National Cyber Security Center highlight the importance of cybersecurity, in ensuring a safe information society. They highlight the challenges faced by the UK in this domain, and in particular the challenges this field poses: from a need for multi-disciplinary expertise and work to address complex challenges, that span from high-level policy to detailed engineering; to the need for an integrated approach between government initiatives, private industry initiatives and wider civil society to tackle both cybercrime and nation state interference into national infrastructures, from power grids to election systems. They conclude that expertise is lacking, particularly when it comes to multi-disciplinary experts with good understanding of effective work both in government and industry.

The EPSRC Doctoral Training Center in Cybersecurity addresses this challenge, and aims to train multidisciplinary experts in engineering secure IT systems, tacking and interdicting cybercrime and formulating effective public policy interventions in this domain. The training provided provides expertise in all those areas through a combination of taught modules, and training in conducting original world-class research in those fields. Graduates will be domain experts in more than one of the subfields of cybersecurity, namely Human, Organizational and Regulatory aspects; Attacks, Defences and Cybercrime; Systems security and Cryptography; Program, Software and Platform Security and Infrastructure Security. They will receive training in using techniques from computing, social sciences, crime science and public policy to find appropriate solutions to problems within those domains. Further, they will be trained in responsible research and innovation to ensure both research, but also technology transfer and policy interventions are protective of people's rights, are compatible with democratic institutions, and improve the welfare of the public. Through a program of industrial internships all doctoral students will familiarize themselves with the technologies, polices and also challenges faced by real-world organizations, large and small, trying to tackle cybersecurity challenges. Therefore they will be equipped to assume leadership positions to solve those problems upon graduation.

Planned Impact

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity will train over 55 experts in multi-disciplinary aspects of cybersecurity, from engineering to crime science and public policy.

Short term impacts are associated with the research outputs of the 55+ research projects that will be undertaken as part of the doctoral studies of CDT students. Each project will tackle an important cybersecurity problem, propose and evaluate solutions, interventions and policy options. Students will publish those in international peer-reviewed journals, but also disseminate those through blog posts and material geared towards decision makers and experts in adjacent fields. Through industry placements relating to their projects, all students will have the opportunity to implement and evaluate their ideas within real-world organizations, to achieve short term impact in solving cybersecurity problems.

In the longer term graduates of the CDT will assume leading positions within industry, goverment, law enforcement, the third sector and academia to increase the capacity of the UK in being a leader in cybersecurity. From those leadership positions they will assess options and formulate effective interventions to tackle cybercrime, secure the UK's infrastructure, establish norms of cooperation between industries and government to secure IT systems, and become leading researcher and scholars further increasing the UK's capacity in cybersecurity in the years to come. The last impact is likely to be significant give that currently many higher education training programs do not have capacity to provide cybersecurity training at undergraduate or graduate levels, particularly in non-technical fields.

The full details of our plan to achieve impact can be found in the "Pathways to Impact" document.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022503/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2252899 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Louis Woods
2253438 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Arianna Trozze
2253445 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Hawra Hosseini- Milani
2259197 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Sergi Bray
2263179 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Antoine Vendeville
2263166 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Antonis Papasavva
2253308 Studentship EP/S022503/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Niamh Healy
2253390 Studentship EP/S022503/1 30/09/2019 30/09/2023 Kyriacos Philonas Demetriou