Cardiff academics join UK efforts to fight cyber crime

7 June 2018

Cyber crime

Experts from Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics have been invited to join forces with researchers across the UK to tackle the growing cyber threat posed to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Along with 13 other institutions, Cardiff University will form part of the prestigious Research Institute in Trustworthy Inter-connected Cyber-physical Systems (RITICS).

RITICS was founded in 2014 by the UK Government and is coordinated by the Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST) at Imperial College, London. It is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The aim of RITICS is to understand and protect against threats to the UK’s critical systems, such as our transport, energy, high-value manufacturing, water and telecommunications services.

These critical systems can be described as being ‘cyber-physical’, in that they contain networked computers which can control physical parameters. This opens them up to cyber security threats, which can have serious physical consequences for the entire nation.

Cardiff University boasts a wealth of expertise in the field of cyber security and has received more than £5m in funding from UK Research Councils, Welsh Government and Industry.

The University recently launched a Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics alongside Airbus to drive forward research across all areas of cyber security.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Pete Burnap, Director of the Centre of Excellence, said: “We are delighted to be joining RITICS and collaborating with other leading cyber security researchers in the UK. Critical mass is important when facing grand challenges such as those evident in the global cyber ecosystem. We bring a strong track record of research on using cutting edge data science methods to detect cyber-attacks as well as modelling their impact on interdependent processes.

“Cyber-physical systems are at the core of everyday life and we strive to make these as secure as possible by developing world leading research and transitioning it to impactful applications in industry and government."

Professor Chris Hankin, Director of RITICS, said: “RITICS was founded in 2014 with five UK universities and an early focus on improving cyber security of Industrial Control Systems.

“The programme has now expanded its focus to cyber security of all critical systems, and welcomes new members such as Cardiff University. We’re very excited to work with Cardiff University in the future.”