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UK’s Second Cyber Research Institute launched

Academics at the School of Informatics are to form part of a new UK 'Cyber Research Institute' which will investigate new ways of automatically analysing computer software to reduce its vulnerability to cyber threats.

internet security

The second Research Institute will carry out world-leading research into techniques for Automated Program Analysis and Verification of computer software. The outputs from the Research Institute will provide businesses, individuals and government with additional confidence that software will behave in a secure fashion when installed on operational networks.

Funded by a £4.5 million grant, the new Research Institute is made up of teams from six Universities including the School of Informatics. It has been established by GCHQ in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Global Uncertainties Programme and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

It follows hot on the heels of the first Academic Research Institute, which was established in September 2012.

Both Academic Research Institutes form part of a cross-government commitment to increase the nation’s academic capability in all fields of Cyber Security.

This allows leading UK academics in the field of Cyber Security to connect with industry security experts and international researchers to tackle some of the UK’s toughest challenges in Cyber Security. This collaborative approach between academia, industry and government will ensure that research is relevant and inspired by real world, cutting edge, security issues.

This institute will build on the UK's global reputation for cyber security research and innovation. It complements wider work government is doing in partnership with academia and industry to boost the economy through improved cyber security. This includes the Cyber Growth Partnership which met for the first time this week.

David WillettsMinister for Universities and Science

Universities in the second Research Institute were selected following a tough competitive process, in which they had to devise new research projects to address three key challenge areas in computer security:

  • Vulnerability discovery
  • Malware analysis and classification of code
  • Improved defences and mitigations

At Edinburgh, the App Guarden research project will focus on analysing applications for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The research will be lead by Dr David Aspinall.