Two cutting-edge cybersecurity research projects at Edinburgh Napier University have been awarded grant funding of over £50,000 to commercialise their products and services.

TrueDeploy is a solution that offers cyber protection in long customer software supply chains – to stop hacking between different companies doing business with each other.

And Trustd aims to provide greater trust and security over digital ’wallets’ used to access decentralised applications as part of a new wave of ‘Web3’ innovation on blockchain technology.

Both were awarded funding as part of CyberASAP, which is itself funded by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport working with Innovate UK.

CyberASAP creates a pipeline to commercialise innovations from university labs, providing academics with the expertise, knowledge and training needed to convert their research into technologies, products and services.

The University’s TrueDeploy project, which is developing innovative technology to bring trust and transparency to the software supply chain, has already received backing from Scottish Enterprise as part of its High Growth Spin-out Programme. Now it has been awarded £31,973 for the next four months as part of CyberASAP phase one.

The dominance of open-source software and the interconnectedness of software between organisations has raised cybersecurity risks in the software supply chain.

Potentially ruinous attacks can occur when a threat actor infiltrates and compromises software being developed by a software vendor in the long chain that exists from code being written to it being distributed to a customer. 

TrueDeploy aims to bring trust to the software supply chain with a novel combination of blockchain, credential management and access control technologies.

Research student Pavlos Papadopoulos, who leads the TrueDeploy technical team, said: “We greatly appreciate Innovate UK’s support and the opportunity to participate in the Cyber security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme 2022-23. 

“In the next few months, during this programme, we will investigate more deeply TrueDeploy’s value proposition, validate our chosen market, and develop our novel solution further in combination with the Scottish Enterprise High Growth Spin-out Programme’s continuous support.”

Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts including token-based economics and decentralised applications (DApps). 

While an effective way for users to control their own data and digital assets, Web3 has not been widely adopted yet due to the complexity of managing users’ wallets which allows them to access these DApps.

The “Trustd: Decentralised, trustworthy, and reliable digital assets custody solution” project is working to address the inherent challenges in establishing security protection for users’ wallets, and has been awarded £29,365 as part of CyberASAP phase one.

School of Computing lecturer Dr Zakwan Jaroucheh said: “Participation in CyberASAP is a great opportunity.  It will allow us to validate our value proposition and the market need for a decentralised digital assets custodial solution to advance Web3 mass adoption.”