Nowadays we are living in a highly digitalised and connected society, and therefore cyber security has become a central issue in our society. As a consequence, the UK Government has identified cyber security as a national priority according to its Cyber Security Strategy 2022 to 2030. The importance of cyber security has attracted more and more researchers to conduct active research on many related topics, including within the Cyber Security Research Group at the University of Kent.
Members of the Cyber Security Research Group bring their particular expertise in many different aspects of cyber security, in the context of a wide range of real-world problems and solutions. In addition to studying more technological aspects such as authentication, cryptography, IoT security, and software security, many members of the Group also work on socio-technical topics such as privacy, cyber crime, data protection law, online harms and online safety, and cyber security education, which require a synergy of expertise between computer science, social sciences and humanities.
The Cyber Security Research Group played a leading role in setting up the Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) in 2012 and the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) in 2021. Due to the excellent research activities of iCSS and KirCCS, the University of Kent became an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) from 2015-2017 and 2018-2023, joint recognised by the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre, part of the GCHQ) and the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, part of the UK Research and Innovation – UKRI).
The Group leads cyber security education activities of the University within the Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), being heavily involved with the delivery of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The portfolio of programmes includes the MSc in Cyber Security, which achieved the NCSC full certification status for 2020-2025, the conversional course MSc Computer Science (Cyber Security) and the BSc in Computer Science (Cyber Security). All the degree courses also provide placement opportunities, allowing students to gain experience in industry as part of their study. The excellent cyber security education activities of the Group and the wider contributions of iCSS have led to the recognition of the University of Kent as a Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE) with a Gold award status from 2023 to 2029.