Oxford opens centre for IT security research

Oxford opens centre for IT security research

Summary: Oxford University has opened a dedicated cybersecurity research centre to work with the industry on fixing the types of security problems that companies deal with.The Oxford Cyber Security Centre was officially opened on Monday.

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Oxford University has opened a dedicated cybersecurity research centre to work with the industry on fixing the types of security problems that companies deal with.

The Oxford Cyber Security Centre was officially opened on Monday. Along with providing a hub for research into cybersecurity the centre will also function as an umbrella for existing research activity that Oxford University says has funding that adds up to over £5m.

Oxford University

A dedicated cybersecurity centre is to open at Oxford University.

"The ultimate aim is for it to be very broad indeed, to embrace anything from politics, economics, law and criminology and so on," Andrew Martin, an associate director of the centre, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "Universities are often very good at wanting to grab money and do their own thing, but the whole interdisciplinary vision is about participating [with the industry] about the issues that need to be solved."

The centre will support research into anticipating, deterring, detecting, resisting and tolerating cybersecurity attacks, along with predicting cyber risks and to help people, companies, governments or groups of governments recover from attacks.

The £5m of research already supported by the centre focuses on areas such as cloud security, mobile device security and sensor networks, Martin said.

"We'd also want to look at the more blue skies issue, such as how does our concept of cybersecurity shape society in the future — what are the limits of legitimate protest and what are the kinds of things people like Anonymous are allowed to get up to?" he said.

The centre's director, Sadie Creesie, was a former director of strategic programmes for UK defence contractor Qinetic's Trusted Information Management Division. "Security requires a positive — and to a large extent open — collaboration between industry, government agencies and universities," she said.

Martin indicated that the combination of Creesie as manager and the fact Martin Sadler of HP Labs' Cloud and Security Lab spoke at the launch of the centre, was a sign of how Oxford hopes to work with the industry to gain research funding.

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Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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