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New cyber research institute launched

Queen Mary scientists will contribute to finding new ways to protect our online security through the latest cyber research institute launched today (Thursday 21 March). 

21 March 2013


The UK’s second Academic Research Institute will focus on investigating new ways of automatically analysing computer software to reduce its vulnerability to cyber threats.  

Professor of Software Verification, Dino Distefano from Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science will lead on finding security vulnerabilities in the computer code.

“Computer code is ubiquitous now – it’s a major part of our lives, running most of our everyday services, from the nation's electric grid to credit and debit cards in shops. This new research institute will assist in identifying weak spots within the software code and ensure we can develop resilience to cyber attacks,” said Professor Distefano.

The outputs from the Research Institute will provide businesses, individuals and government with additional confidence that software will behave in a secure fashion when installed on operational networks. This collaborative approach between academia, industry and government will ensure that research is relevant and inspired by real world, cutting edge, security issues.

Funded by a £4.5m grant, the new Research Institute is made up of teams from six universities. It has been established by GCHQ in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Research Councils UK (RCUK); Global Uncertainties Programme and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: "This institute will build on the UK's global reputation for cyber security research and innovation. It complements wider work government is doing in partnership with academia and industry to boost the economy through improved cyber security. This includes the Cyber Growth Partnership which met for the first time this week."

Dr Pasquale Malacaria also from Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science is involved in the first Academic Research Institute, which was established in September 2012. His work focuses on how to make better security decisions and investigates how game theory can be applied to cyber security, for example in protecting computer networks from disruption from malicious parties.

For media information, contact:

Neha Okhandiar
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
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