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Southampton to join new UK-wide cyber security network

Published: 28 March 2019
Cyber security
SPRITE+ will tackle existing and emerging challenges to trust and security in the digital age.

Cyber security experts from the University of Southampton will be part of a new UK-wide digital security network aimed at tackling existing and emerging challenges to trust and security in the digital age.

The new Security, Privacy, Identity and Trust Engagement Network (SPRITE+) has been awarded £1.7 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to bring together experts from academia, business and industry, government, and civil society over the next four years.

SPRITE+ will be led by the University of Manchester, with Southampton Professor Vladimiro Sassone, Director of Southampton’s Cyber Security Academy, joining academics from Lancaster University, Imperial College and Queen’s University Belfast to engage in studies and pilot projects, as well as holding workshops and facilitating internships & staff exchanges.

A number of leading high-profile organisations have signed up as project partners including BT, Nasdaq, Arm, Titan IC, Tiani Spirit, National Grid, LORCA, the Open Data Institute, South Korea’s Hanyang University, Greater Manchester Police, and the Office of HM Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security with more to follow.

Southampton’s Cyber Security Research Group already plays a leading role in undertaking basic and applied cyber security research whilst providing core capabilities and leadership in support of the University’s broader security activities. The Group constitutes the core of the Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research (recognised by National Cyber Security Centre and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) as well as the Cyber Security Academy, a partnership between University, Industry and Government, whose objectives span from research and consultancy to outreach, training and knowledge transfer.

“This SPRITE+ Network will be at the forefront of understanding the implications of how the many rapid advances in digital technologies and connectivity are affecting issues around privacy, confidentiality, transparency, accountability and public acceptability,” explained Professor Sassone who holds the Roke/Royal Academy for Engineering Research Chair in Cyber Security at Southampton. “This work has never been more vital, with implications for all aspects of our lives, especially with the huge and growing volume of data being shared daily and the proliferation of AI.”

Lead for the project, Manchester Professor Emma Barrett, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious venture. SPRITE+ will harness outstanding UK research expertise in security, privacy, identity, and trust, to address priority challenges identified by and with stakeholders. Together, we will create new knowledge, deepen collaborations, and support the growth of interdisciplinary, stakeholder-focused research for the benefit of our society and economy.”

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