Cardiff University will host a cyber security centre of excellence

University teams up with Airbus to research ways to defend national infrastructure

Cardiff University is to open a new cyber security centre to carry out research on digital attacks.

The university has teamed up with Airbus to open the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, which will be located at its School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Researchers will study machine learning, data analytics, and artificial intelligence for cyber-attack detection. This research will aim to protect corporate IT networks, intellectual property, and critical national infrastructure.

The centre will also try to fill the skills gap in cyber security in the country by developing industry-relevant academic programmes in cyber security at the university - the skills gap is estimated to reach 1.5 million vacancies worldwide by 2020, according to last year's Global Information Security Workforce Study.

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Airbus and Cardiff University will share knowledge through secondments and industrial placements available for researchers and students. 

"Cyber security analytics is about improving our resilience to cyber attacks through data modelling to detect and block malicious behaviour before it causes its full impact, and also about understanding what motivates the behaviour, what its likely impact will be, and how to communicate security alerts among decision and policy-makers," said the centre's director, Pete Burnap. 

Dr Kevin Jones, Head of cyber security innovation at Airbus, said collaborations with universities on cyber security research was a "key approach in the future protection of critical systems".

He added that the launch of the centre would be an "enabler for the rapid transfer of research into operational activities and ensures that researchers are able to access the latest techniques and data". 

The university has also been given 2 million in funding to develop machine learning algorithms to detect cyber threats targeting various internet-enabled environments, including online social media to control systems in critical national infrastructure.

Together, Cardiff University and Airbus have already received more than 1 million of funding for cyber security, including studying risks to the systems underpinning critical national infrastructure. This was part-funded by the Endeavour programme, backed by Airbus and the Welsh government.

Picture credit: Bigstock

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