Announced in the UK Government’s national cyber security strategy last year, academic centres of excellence will specialise in developing cyber security techniques and contribute to the UK’s increased knowledge and capability in this field. Edinburgh has been named as one of 14 universities now recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), as meeting the “tough minimum standards required”.
They include a commitment from the university’s leadership team to support and invest in the university’s cyber security research capacity and capability; a critical mass of academic staff engaged in leading-edge cyber security research; a proven track record of publishing high-impact cyber security research in leading academic journals and conferences; and sustained funding from a variety of sources to ensure the continuing financial viability of the research team’s activities.
Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office, visited Edinburgh today to praise its efforts in becoming the first such centre in Scotland to gain the accolade. “This Government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online. That is why we need truly ground-breaking research to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of cyber attacks. By engaging with business, industry and academia, we will ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat to the UK.”
Professor David Aspinall, of Edinburgh University’s School of Informatics, said: “Cyber security and privacy is now an essential aspect of modern life which impacts the technology we see and use, as well as the behind-the-scenes technology we rely on that supports the physical and virtual infrastructures. Our recognition as a centre of excellence will bring fresh impetus to our research, to help make the digital world safer for everyone.”
The Universities of Edinburgh and Warwick join the list for the first time. The remaining 12 have all successfully had their applications for Academic Centre of Excellence status renewed since the scheme was first established in 2012.