Government Pumps £7.5m Into Cyber Security Training Centres

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Royal Holloway and Oxford handed millions for Centres for Doctoral Training

The UK government has announced £7.5 million funding for two Centres for Doctoral Training that it hopes will fill the skills gap damaging the nation’s cyber security industry.

The centres will be based in London’s Royal Holloway and the University of Oxford. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will supply £5 million, whilst £2.5 million will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Cyber security training

david_willettssquareIt all forms part of the National Cyber Security Programme, which has pumped £650 million into fighting online crime and national-level threats. The government announced the doctoral training centres last July.

“Businesses are facing more cyber-attacks than ever before, putting their confidential information and intellectual property at risk,” said David Willetts (pictured), minister for universities and science.

“We must do everything we can to tackle this threat and make them less vulnerable.

“These new Centres will produce a new generation of cyber security specialists, able to use their skills and research expertise to improve cyber security and drive growth.”

The University of Oxford will focus on issues surrounding Big Data, authentication, “cyber-physical security” and “real-time security”.

Royal Holloway will provide training on cryptographic systems and protocols, telecommunication networks and critical infrastructure, as well as organisational processes and socio-technical system.

Both will produce at least 66 PhD graduates over the next seven years. Students will gain experience within industry too.

“A CDT represents a significantly different approach to research training, and we are looking forward to taking on the great responsibility of delivering graduates who will directly benefit the country,” said Professor Keith Martin, director of the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway.

The government has pumped millions into research and training – seen by analysts as two of the most vital areas for investment in the UK. Earlier this year, UK intelligence agency GCHQ announced a £4.5m Cyber Research Institute consisting of researchers from six universities, which will attempt to create fresh technologies that effectively detect vulnerabilities.

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