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University Of Edinburgh Is Scotland’s First Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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University of Edinburgh joins government-accredited national cybersecurity research scheme

The University of Edinburgh is Scotland’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’ for cybersecurity research, joining 14 other higher education institutions in the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)-accredited programme.

The University of Warwick is the other new institution admitted to the network, which now comprises 15 universities and was founded in 2012.

The centres of excellence must all commit to support and invest in cybersecurity research with sustained levels of funding that can be used to develop techniques and acquire knowledge that can protect the country from attack.

Edinburgh Carlton Hill Scotland © Keattikorn Shutterstock

University of Edinburgh

“This Government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online,” declared Ben Gummer, minister for the Cabinet Office.

“That is why we need truly ground-breaking research to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of cyber attacks. By engaging with business, industry and academia, we will ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat to the UK.”

“Cyber security and privacy is now an essential aspect of modern life which impacts the technology we see and use, as well as the behind-the-scenes technology we rely on that supports the physical and virtual infrastructures,” added Professor David Aspinall of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics.

“Our recognition as a centre of excellence will bring fresh impetus to our research, to help make the digital world safer for everyone.”

The centres of excellence also support the work of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), based in London. It officially opened in October and is the UK’s front line against threats, offering support to government and organisations and businesses.

The centre’s primary focus is on cyber defence rather than offensive capabilities, which tend to be the domain of GCHQ. It looks to tackle issues such as online security, curtailing intellectual property theft and raising awareness across public and private sector organisations on how to mitigate cyber threats.

“It’s fantastic to see so many leading universities committed to trailblazing improvements to the UK’s cyber security research, and it is particularly good to see Scotland represented for the first time,” said Chris Ensor, deputy director for cybersecurity skills and growth at the NCSC.

“At the NCSC, we are absolutely committed to maintaining and improving our already strong reputation as a global leader in cutting edge research, and look forward to collaborating with these establishments to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

“These universities conduct world-class cyber security research and this initiative will improve the way academics, government and business work together – benefiting the whole of the country.

Quiz: Cybersecurity in 2017