Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS)

Featured story

Institute of Cyber Security for Society

Welcome to the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS)

We promote wide-ranging interdisciplinary research in cyber security and help enhance the cyber security skills and awareness of our students and the wider community. We achieve this through a diverse range of cyber security activities, including research, educational activities, professional training, industrial consultancies, expert talks and media communications. Our external partnerships with industries, governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) enable us to develop wide-ranging collaborations with the cyber security community in the UK and worldwide.


  1. iCSS, The STEM Hub and KMCC (Kent & Medway Cyber Cluster) co-founded KMCSN (Kent & Medway CyberSchools Network) and are calling for local schools and teachers to join as members. Please help spread the words!
  2. iCSS, KMCC and KMCS3 (Kent & Medway Cyber Security Student Society) are co-organising a 2023-24 CyberAnything Competition (with cash prizes up to £80), and welcome current students/staff and alumni of the University of Kent, and also UK residents (13 years old or above) to participate. The deadline for submission is 1st March 2024.
  3. iCSS, KMCC and ISC2 are co-organising a 1MCC cyber security certification campaign, for promoting the ISC2 CC certification which is designed for beginners. There is no deadline, so join when you can!

Built on the success of the former Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) established in 2012, since January 2021 iCSS has been representing the University of Kent as one of only 19 UK universities that are recognised as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR) by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, part of the GCHQ) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, part of UKRI – UK Research and Innovation). The University of Kent’s ACE-CSR recognition was achieved originally from 2015-2017 and then from 2018-2023. iCSS further extends the cyber security research of the former KirCCS, especially within its socio-technical security and privacy research theme, into wider areas such as cybercrime, cyber law, online safety, cyber influence and behaviour, digital financial technology, cyber governance and cyber conflict.

ACE-CSR logo

Alongside our activities in research and innovation, iCSS also coordinates university-wide educational activities around cyber security, including our pool of cyber-related modules across different schools and new cyber-related interdisciplinary degree programmes. Since 2023, iCSS represents the University as an Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACEs-CSE) with a Gold Award status, recognised by the NCSC. As of August 2023, there were only 8 UK universities recognised as both an ACE-CSR and an ACE-CSE with a Gold Award status. iCSS also supports the University’s Cyber Security Improvement Group (CSIG) established in 2021 together with the Institute. In 2023, iCSS also established the KMCS3 (Kent & Medway Cyber Security Student Society) to engage University of Kent students from all subjects.

ACE-CSE Gold Award logo

Furthermore, iCSS has been active in many impact generation and wider engagement activities. Two examples are its role in facilitating the establishment of the KMCC (Kent & Medway Cyber Cluster) to develop the local cyber security ecosystems in Kent and Medway, and its school outreach activities in cyber security and online safety organised around the KMCSN (Kent & Medway CyberSchools Network). If you are interested in working with iCSS on such activities, please get in touch.

In 2023, due to iCSS’s active profile in all areas of cyber security especially its wider impact and engagement activities, the University of Kent was named the ‘Cyber University of the Year’ of the inaugural Real Cyber Awards 2023.

'Cyber University of the Year' of Real Cyber Awards 2023

iCSS has its dedicated physical space in Keynes College (B2 and C2), which hosts the management team, core academic staff, administrative staff, research staff and PhD students, in order to promote exchanges and collaborations between its members across different participating schools.

From time to time, we have calls for applications for PhD studentships and job posts. To find out more, visit our Join us page.

If you are interested in studying a cyber security degree, learning more about our activities, working with us on cyber security projects or anything else related to cyber security, please contact us. In addition, iCSS is a one-stop hub in cyber security matters for everyone – if you have a question on cyber security, or need help and don’t know what to do, feel free to reach out and we will find out how we can help you.