News release

Southampton launches Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research

Ref: 12/201

22 November 2012

Professor Vladamiro Sassone

The future of cyber security research has been placed in the capable hands of experts at the University of Southampton following the opening of a new Academic Centre of Excellence.

Led by Professor Vladimiro Sassone, a leading figure within the University’s Web and Internet Science Group, the Centre draws on expertise from across the University including Electronics and Computing Science, Mathematics, Law, Management and Psychology.

Southampton is one of eight UK universities identified to help make the country’s government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber-attack by extending knowledge through original research and providing top quality graduates in the field of cyber security. The Academic Centre of Excellence status was awarded by GCHQ as part of the government's national cyber security strategy in partnership with the Research Council UK's Global Uncertainties Programme, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Each of the new Centres will receive a £50,000 capital investment and will benefit from closer collaboration with GCHQ and the UK Cyber Community and industry. The research conducted will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK government and enable businesses and consumers to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyberspace.

“We are very pleased to have our world leading research in cyber security recognised through the awarding of this 'Centre of Excellence' status,” said Professor Sassone. “Our well-integrated research portfolio links together aspects of internet privacy and trust, super-identity and access control, and secure hardware devices in one full circle.

“This places the University of Southampton in a unique position. Online activities underpin a growing range of day to day activities and there is a real need to ensure that users are supported in their online transactions and behaviours. Issues span the robustness of our national security and economic processes, to the security of digital information held by government and public bodies, and recognise the technical, legal, ethical and social responsibilities around our own personal privacy,” Professor Sassone continued.

Speaking at the formal launch in Southampton, Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton said: “Our existing world –leading research in cyber security is being recognised through the award of the EPSRC GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research to our University and I would like to congratulate Professor Sassone and his team on this great achievement. The new Centre will give us the opportunity to further develop work we’ve been engaged in for quite some time in this crucial area of research – to foster innovation and provide top quality graduates in the field.

“Southampton is very proud to be one of just eight centres based at UK universities identified help the UK’s government, businesses, consumers and universities to be more resilient to cyber-attack and help us all to benefit from the huge opportunities that we know exist from our internet-connected world.”