Essex wins Government funding to develop secure future technologies

  • Date

    Tue 23 Jun 20

Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier

Computer scientists at the University of Essex are part of a research team which successfully won a £1.8m grant from the Government's Digital Security by Design programme.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) initiative aims to help the tech infrastructure of UK organisations and digital devices be more resilient to cyber attacks and the nine winning research teams will share the £10m investment.

Essex is a partner in the University of Glasgow-led AppControl project, which will leverage state-of-the-art microprocessors, developed earlier in the programme, to make sure vital systems that could be used in cars, medical robots or nuclear power plants remain digitally secure.

Launched last year, the Digital Security by Design programme has the potential to prevent hackers from remotely taking control of digital systems such as autonomous cars, personal computers or smart home security systems as well as cyber attacks and data breaches, meaning people and online businesses are better protected.

Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, who will lead the team at Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, said: “Our AppControl Project is poised make an important contribution to future mission critical digital systems that are based on this key Government funded Digital Security by Design programme. This project will enable taking embedded systems security to an entirely new level and we are delighted to contribute our expertise in resilient architecture, debug support and analytics of embedded systems to this major research programme."

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We have a top-class cyber security sector and together we are working hard to make sure the UK is the safest place to work, connect and live online.

“With government support these projects will build cutting-edge, secure technologies that will give people and businesses further confidence in our digital services and help weaken the threat of cyber attackers.”

UKRI’s challenge director for Digital Security by Design John Goodacre said: “The Digital Security by Design programme will radically update the security foundations of the digital computing infrastructure that underpins the entire economy. I’m honoured that these leading universities and researchers have aligned their expertise to this challenge.

“These projects will increase the knowledge and skills around this new technology, as well as research the opportunities this fundamental change offers to the security of computers across business and society in the future.”