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New £5m Institute Opens In Northern Ireland To Investigate Hardware Security

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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Queens University Belfast to host £5m institute that looks to make hardware more secure in era of IoT

Researchers at a new £5 million facilitiy in Northern Ireland will spend the next five years investigating ways to improve hardware security as the Internet of Things (IoT) goes mainstream.

The Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE) will also look at hardware vulnerabilities and how to secure embedded systems as well as how to tackle counterfeit devices which not only cause security issues but also create more attack vectors for attacks.

RISE will be based at Queens University Belfast (QUB)’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and will be supported by academics from the University of Cambridge, the University of Bristol and the University of Birmingham.

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“There is huge demand for hardware security research and innovation,” said Professor Maire O’Neill, who will be Director of the institute.  “As CSIT is renowned for its high-quality research in this field, and its emphasis on commercialisation of research, we are delighted to host RISE.

“RISE is in an excellent position to become the go-to place for high quality hardware security research. A key aim is to bring together the hardware security community in the UK and build a strong network of national and international research partnerships.

“We will also work closely with leading UK-based industry partners and stakeholders, transforming research findings into products, services and business opportunities, which will benefit the UK economy.”

The CSIT recently predicted that the cybersecurity could be worth as much as £60 million to the country in terms of salaries.

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RISE is supported financially by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)  and is one of five cybersecurity institutes in the UK.

“I’m delighted to see the formation of our latest Research Institute, RISE, concentrating on the potential of new hardware security technologies,” said Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director.

“I think that the inclusion of hardware-based security capabilities in commodity devices could be a game changer in our fight to reduce the harm of cyberattacks and so I’m really pleased to see a strong set of initial research projects.”

Belfast is rapidly becoming a hub for technology research and development in Norther Ireland and the rest of Britain, with Ulster University recently launching a £2 million hub for facilitating healthcare tech innovation

The CSIT recently predicted that the cybersecurity could be worth as much as £60 million to the country in terms of salaries.

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