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Tackling the threat of cyber-security

23 June 2017

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Cardiff and Coventry universities have joined forces to help ensure the UK is primed to respond to policy challenges posed by the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks.

The £500k Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded project will see experts from the two universities work together to make recommendations to the UK’s policy advisers on future cyber security decision-making processes.

Starting this month, the researchers will explore how UK policy-makers are currently selecting, assessing and prioritising evidence, which comes from a wide range of sources including official threat intelligence, industry reports and academia.

The human dimension of cyber security

The project will examine the human dimension of cyber security, but will shift focus away from the ‘end user’ – for example potentially vulnerable businesses – and towards the civil servants who are instrumental in providing short and long term policy advice regarding cyber threats.

Dr Madeline Carr, Reader in International Relations at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics, said: Cyber security policy makers operate under extremely challenging circumstances. Identifying how they can be better supported in their decision making processes is essential to the UK's national security outcomes. We see this project as an important contribution to that goal.”

Dr Siraj Shaikh, Reader in Cyber Security at Coventry University, said: The UK needs to be world-leading in its policy approach to cyber security, and to be able to react quickly to protect the nation from larger scale attacks like the recent WannaCry incident. Through this project we’ll be providing government and its agencies with insight which will help them make critical decisions.”

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