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Bristol University to play pivotal role in protecting the country from cyber attack

Press release issued: 3 April 2017

The University of Bristol has once again been recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the EPSRC as an Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR).

As an ACE-CSR, the University will continue to play a pivotal role in helping to make government, business and consumers more resilient to cyber attack by working more closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK cyber community and industry.

Promoting academic excellence is at the heart of the Government's Cyber Security Strategy and the University hopes this will lead to exciting opportunities for its students and graduates.

The centres have been established to increase the number of top quality researchers in the field of cyber security, ultimately aiming to build a skills base able to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business online.

Work carried out at the University of Bristol will support NCSC's cyber defence mission, boost research to keep up pace with technological change and drive up the level of innovation.

Nigel Smart, Professor of Cryptology in the Department of Computer Science, who is leading the ACE-CSR at the University, said: "Being selected again as an ACE-CSR reaffirms the University’s position as a world-class research institution in the field of cyber security.  This is of great importance not just to business but also national security.

"The Bristol ACE-CSR is based around work performed by our Cryptography Research Group. This is one of the world’s largest groups in cryptography, with a focus on areas as diverse as side-channel analysis, protocol design and secure computation technologies."

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office & Paymaster General, added: "This Government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online.  That is why we need truly ground-breaking research to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of cyber attacks.

"By engaging with business, industry and academia, we will ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat to the UK."

Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth at the NCSC, said: "It's fantastic to see so many leading universities committed to trailblazing improvements to the UK's cyber security research, and it is particularly good to see Scotland represented for the first time.

"At the NCSC, we are absolutely committed to maintaining and improving our already strong reputation as a global leader in cutting edge research, and look forward to collaborating with these establishments to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. 

"These universities conduct world class cyber security research and this initiative will improve the way academics, government and business work together – benefiting the whole of the country."

The research conducted by the Bristol Cryptography Group will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK Government and enable businesses and consumers to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyberspace.

Further information

Chosen from more than 20 applicants from across the UK, the 14 selected universities are:

University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; University of Cambridge; Lancaster University; Imperial College London; Royal Holloway University of London; University College London; Newcastle University; University of Oxford; Queen’s University Belfast; University of Southampton; University of Surrey; University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh.

About the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
The NCSC was set up to help protect our critical services from cyber attacks, managing major incidents and improve the underlying security of the UK Internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations. Our vision is to help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

About the EPSRC
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate. By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

About the Bristol Cryptography Group
The Bristol Cryptography Group conducts research into cryptography, the underlying hard problems on which it is based and the hardware and software needed to implement secure systems. The group has particular interest in techniques for proving security of cryptographic systems, the efficient implementation of such systems on small computing devices and the verification that such implementations do what they say they do. It is also interested in security auditing and computer forensics. The group is responsible for the teaching of all Information Security units across the University of Bristol.


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