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Innovative partnership

Pioneering collaboration has led to the Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics – the first centre of its kind in Europe.

Tackling global cyber security

Airbus cyber bodyguards at work

Cyber security (CS) is a global issue affecting every organisation and requires solutions on a global platform. Cardiff University is part of a growing and vibrant CS ecosystem in Wales. Led by Professor Pete Burnap, world leading interdisciplinary and industry research into cyber analytics is being undertaken, in partnership with Airbus.

The Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics aims to strategically position the UK as a leader in cybersecurity analytics. Working across academia, industry and government to address emerging challenges to cyber security, the Centre is the go-to place for data science and AI insights on cyber threats.

Located at the School of Computer Science and Informatics, researchers, along with experts from Airbus, carry out studies into machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence for cyber-attack detection. Expertise draws from computer science, data science, criminology and international relations, across several Schools within the University.

Wales is an essential part of the global Airbus operation, and it is fitting that our cyber security innovation in South Wales has a major role in protecting our vast business. Airbus has built excellent relationships with the Welsh Government and with universities such as Cardiff over many years, and I am delighted this will now lead to further collaborations, putting the Newport CyberLab at the forefront of understanding into how Artificial Intelligence will transform cyber security.

Dr Kevin Jones, Group Chief Information Security Officer, Airbus

Model of good practice

The Centre has led to publications in world-leading journals and conferences, a strong PhD track record and attracted a grant income of over £7.8 million to support its activity.

It has also produced a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which is supporting the development of new ways to detect cyber-attacks using Artificial Intelligence.  New methods and tools have been translated for real-time dynamic risk modelling into an Airbus spin out, which is now protecting critical national infrastructure; integrating the centre’s world class research on malware classification based on behavioural DNA profiling of machine activity using AI into Airbus’ Security Operations Centre (SOC).

The Centre has garnered significant attention, both with industry and politically, and is regularly held up by UK Government as a model of good practice for innovation between industry and academia, including providing written and oral evidence on the cyber threats associated with online social networks to a Home Affairs Select Committee in Westminster.