Wales awarded first cybersecurity centre of excellence

Cardiff University has been named as an “academic centre of excellence” in cybersecurity research by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), becoming the first institution in Wales to be given this status.

The award is in recognition of the internationally excellent research developed at the University over a number of years and will allow academics to feed directly into the UK Government’s strategy of making the country more resilient to cyber attacks.

Furthermore, as a centre of excellence, the University will nurture more young talent and foster a pipeline of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

‘Tackling cyber attacks’

Launched in 2016, the NCSC was set up as part of GCHQ to help protect critical services from cyber attacks, manage major incidents, and improve the underlying security of the UK Internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations.

Since then it has prevented thousands of attacks, provided vital support for the UK’s Armed Forces and managed hundreds of incidents.

Cardiff joins a prestigious list of academic institutions helping to support the NCSC’s mission, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and University College London.

As part of the scheme, Cardiff University will specifically focus on how artificial intelligence can be used to monitor, identify and ultimately tackle cyber attacks.

‘Excellence in cybersecurity’

Professor of Data Science and Cybersecurity in the School of Computer Science and Informatics, Peter Burnap, commented: “We are delighted to receive this recognition as it evidences our long track-record of research excellence in cybersecurity.

“Our core identity is the interdisciplinary fusion of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, a concept we call cybersecurity analytics. AI is at the heart of the UK government’s industrial strategy and our aim is to innovate with AI to improve automated cyber threat intelligence and support decision making and policy responses to make the UK more secure for individuals, business and the government.
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“We are proud to be the first Welsh university to be recognised by NCSC for our cyber research capability, and we hope to build on the impressive expertise that already exists across the region between academia, government and business.”

Cardiff University also has a proven track record of research excellence in cybersecurity and already has close links with government and industry.

Written from press release by Leah Alger

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