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Scottish Cyber Security collaboration established

Researchers from Edinburgh's Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research are joining a wider Cyber Security collaboration across Scotland in the SICSA Cyber Nexus, which is a new initiative that aims to focus efforts from Scotland’s leading universities on cybersecurity and cyberresilience, linking with government and industry to build new research and innovation capacity.

The SICSA Cyber Nexus represents a £420K 18-month investment by the UK and Scottish governments that aims to establish the nucleus of a coherent and vibrant Scottish cyber-security research and innovation community, linking academia with industry, the public sector, government and the third sector. The approach taken to deliver this vision is based on all 14 SICSA institutions operating in a collaborative fashion across several strategically important activities including:

  • Bringing together Scotland’s academic Cyber-Security capability through the SICSA Cyber Nexus.
  • Baselining and monitoring the academic Cyber-Security/Resilience capability in Scotland.
  • Raising awareness of Scotland’s capabilities in terms of Public Education, Outreach, Skills development.
  • Delivering Impact through building skills and expertise and co-operation across academia, industry and government – transferring knowledge, technology and capabilities

 “We are excited by the opportunities that the SICSA Cyber Nexus offers.  Recent events have shown how important cybersecurity is to key national infrastructure, such as the National Health Service.  Dealing properly with this represents both a tremendous technical challenge and a tremendous opportunity to build on the world-leading work that is coming out of Scotland. The seed funding that we have obtained will bring the Scottish community together, focus attention on the key issues that need to be addressed, and create new innovation across Scotland.”

Citation Professor Kevin HammondUniversity of St Andrews, Director of SICSA, lead of The SICSA Cyber Nexus
SICSA logo

Recent events have shown how important cybersecurity is to key national infrastructure, such as the National Health Service.  The WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017 showed how even a relatively unsophisticated attack could easily penetrate security defences, and threaten primary health provision across the UK. Dealing properly with such threats such provides an opportunity to build on the world-leading work that is coming out of Scotland.

The Nexus will link up with the existing SICSA research themes in artificial intelligence, data science, cyber-physical systems, networks, human-computer interaction and foundational research, building on the excellent research base that exists in Scotland.  It will also link with the Scottish Innovation Centres (especially the Data Lab which focuses on big data analytics and processing, CENSIS which focuses on sensor networks and the Internet of Things, and DHI which focuses on health informatics, with Scotland IS – the national trade body that champions Scotland’s digital technologies industries), with Police Scotland, GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). 

Useful links

SICSA

Cyber Security & Privacy Research Network