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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K035584/1
Title: Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway
Principal Investigator: Cid, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Paterson, Professor KG O'Keeffe, Dr D Martin, Professor K
Crampton, Professor J Albrecht, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Information Security
Organisation: Royal Holloway, Univ of London
Scheme: CDT - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2013 Ends: 30 April 2021 Value (£): 3,807,975
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Computer Sys. & Architecture Fundamentals of Computing
Industrial-Org/Occupational Information & Knowledge Mgmt
Modelling & simul. of IT sys. Networks & Distributed Systems
Organisational Studies Software Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Communications
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
31 Jan 2013 EPSRC CDTs in Cyber Security Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Cryptographic algorithms are used to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of information transmitted over an insecure channel, whether that be data encapsulated in an IP datagram and sent over the Internet or a hand-written message conveyed by a soldier across enemy territory. In a world in which businesses and government provide access to their products and services via public networks the importance of cryptography cannot be overstated.

In fact, "cryptography" means a number of things: from the design of provably-secure ciphersystems and protocols, to the implementation of those systems and protocols in technology, to the deployment of that technology. Domain A covers all of these aspects of cryptography, most obviously in the "headline" theme, but also in Systems Engineering and Security Analysis and Building Trusted and Trustworthy Systems.

However, cryptography does not and cannot solve all technological problems, much less cyber security problems. Stored data, even if we restrict our attention to cryptographic keys, requires additional and complementary technical approaches. Given that the vast majority of data is now stored on computers and the protection mechanisms used to protect that data are implemented by computer software, the development of trusted and trustworthy platforms are of paramount importance. High assurance software, firewalls, intrusion detection and protection systems, and authentication and access control mechanisms can all be undermined by vulnerabilities in the hardware and the operating system.

The development of secure systems, whether "system" means the software stack running on a single machine or the network protocols and machines that communicate using those protocols, depend crucially on secure foundations. Those foundations typically rely on some "root of trust" whether that is based in hardware, software or socio-technical systems such as large public key infrastructures (PKIs). Establishing whether those trust foundations are robust is of critical importance and embraces many different disciplines, including formal methods (hardware), technological processes (software development and testing), and organizational processes (user enrolment in a PKI). It is essential, therefore, that researchers and practitioners think about cyber security from multiple perspectives. The Centres for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security provide a vital opportunity to provide the brightest minds in the UK with all those perspectives.

Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) is uniquely equipped to deal with the challenges faced by any institution wishing to become a CDT. The Information Security Group (ISG) has well over 20 years' experience of supervising postgraduate research students (PGRs) in topics related to information and cyber security, with around 120 people having PhDs supervised by the ISG. The volume and scope of the ISG's research is unrivalled in the UK. With 17 full-time researchers, 8 post-doctoral researchers and around 40 PhD students, the ISG has expertise in all areas of Domain A, with world leading researchers in a number of the sub-themes, and many of the themes in Domain B.

If successful in its application to become a CDT, the ISG would make use of its masters programme to provide part of the taught element for the student cohort. The MSc in Information Security at RHUL has been running for 20 years and has over 2000 alumni. The programme is recognized by industry, nationally and internationally, as the best of its type in the UK. The extensive programme of sixteen courses offers a very broad understanding of technical and managerial aspects of information security and represents a substantial foundation for the CDT cohort. In addition, we will run two new courses, supervised by ISG academics, in which the emphasis will be on acquiring research skills and an appreciation of the most important research literature, past and current.
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