Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics

We work across industry, academia and government to provide a focus for cyber security analytics in the UK. As the first centre of its kind in Europe, we aim to strategically position the UK as a leader in cyber security analytics.

We're addressing emerging challenges to cyber security by combining:

  • computational and mathematical methods, drawing on our technical expertise in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics
  • criminological expertise in cyber crime
  • international relations expertise in communication and governance

Our collaboration covers areas of mutual interest to the Cyber Operations Team at Airbus and Cardiff University, including data science, big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

A significant focus of our work is in the interpretation and effective communication of automated algorithmic data analytics to support decision making and policy surrounding cyber security issues of national importance.

Cyber security is a priority research area at Cardiff University, supported with strategic investment. Since 2012 we have established an interdisciplinary research team of technical and social researchers. Our collaborative projects have received more than £5m in funding from UK Research Councils (EPSRC, ESRC), Welsh Government (Endeavr Wales) and Industry (Airbus).

Participation in the collaborative program is not limited by the organisational affiliation of scientists and will be determined by individuals' ability to contribute to the mutual objectives of the participating organisations.

Our research is focussed around four themes:

  1. data-driven human and software behavioural analytics and threat intelligence (e.g. machine learning for intrusion detection via software behaviours)
  2. risk assessment and threat modeling (moving from asset-registers to dynamic process and dependency models)
  3. risk communication, privacy, governance and collective decision making using threat intelligence and good practice
  4. motivations, dynamics and social factors of cyber crime.

These four themes are interdependent and our interdisciplinary approach has led to publications in world-leading conferences and journals.

Selected publications

Research council funding

We were awarded more than £500k as part of a £1.2m EPSRC grant to bring together expertise in computer science and informatics (Prof Omer Rana, Dr Pete Burnap), social sciences (Prof Mike Levi, Prof Matthew Williams), and mathematics (Dr Vince Knight) to investigate:

  • modelling techniques for representing coordinated cyber attacks on distributed computing infrastructures; and
  • risk perceptions and economic costs of presenting data about such attacks to individuals involved at various levels of the trust and security eco-system (ranging from system administrators, end users to legislators).

We aimed to better understand how data acquired at different levels of a cyber infrastructure influences behaviours of both victims and legislators, on the observation that monitoring and responding to cyber crime is a socio-technical challenge.

We are members of the PETRAS Cyber Security IoT hub. A member of our team, Dr Madeline Carr, takes a joint lead on the Standards, Governance and Policy stream, which has direct links to the UK academic cyber security community.

We have recently been awarded £500K by EPSRC to research the human dimension of cyber security through an investigation into how UK policy makers assess evidence in cyber security.

Industry funding

We have been awarded nearly £1.3m from Endeavr Wales to develop tools and methods that are now being translated into cyber security business units within Airbus Defence and Space for risk assessment, management and monitoring within industry control systems (SCADA), intended for use within critical national infrastructure.

Building on Cardiff University's strong track record for research impact, Dr Pete Burnap is currently on secondment to Airbus Group, leading a significant financial investment in the growth of a data science and cyber analytics research unit within the Airbus Group Cyber Operations team;

Dr Yulia Cherdantseva is working closely with a spin-out consultancy to develop one of our research outcomes (a SCADA risk modeling toolkit) into a consultancy business. Dr Brandon Valeriano is working with the United States Marine Corps University to develop policy proposals and produce policy relevant research in cyber strategies. And Dr Andrea Calderaro has established the Cardiff University Centre for Internet & Global Politics (CIGP).

Centre director

Pete Burnap

Dr Pete Burnap

Lecturer

Email:
p.burnap@cs.cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6249

Academic staff

Andrea Calderaro

Dr Andrea Calderaro

Lecturer in International Relations

Email:
calderaroa@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8819
Dr Madeline Carr

Dr Madeline Carr

Senior Lecturer in International Relations

Email:
carrm@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2088 8824

Dr Yulia Cherdantseva

Research Fellow/Associate

Email:
cherdantsevayv@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9024

Amir Javed

Research Fellow/Associate

Email:
javeda7@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2251 0009
Michael Levi

Yr Athro Michael Levi

Professor

Email:
levi@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 29208 74376
Omer Rana

Yr Athro Omer Rana

Professor of Performance Engineering

Email:
ranaof@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5542
Jianhua Shao

Dr Jianhua Shao

Senior Lecturer

Email:
shaoj@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6757

Dr George Theodorakopoulos

Lecturer

Email:
theodorakopoulosg@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4855
Matthew Williams

Yr Athro Matthew L. Williams

Senior Lecturer

Email:
williamsm7@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2087 4853

Postgraduate students

Stylianos Mamais

Stylianos Mamais

Research student

Email:
mamaisss@caerdydd.ac.uk

Alanoud Sabahi

Research student

Email:
subahiat@caerdydd.ac.uk

Adi Pratomo

Research student

Email:
pratomoba@caerdydd.ac.uk
Matilda Rhode

Matilda Rhode

Research student

Email:
rhodem@caerdydd.ac.uk

Matthew Nunes

Research student

Email:
nunesma@caerdydd.ac.uk

Eirini Anthi

Research student

Email:
anthies@caerdydd.ac.uk


Partners

This research is made possible through our close partnership with: