Government invests £10 million to help make future technologies more secure


16-06-2020

Nine grant winners - including two from the University of Cambridge - have been revealed as the latest recipients in UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI's) Digital Security by Design programme, which aims to help the tech infrastructure of UK organisations and digital devices be more resilient to cyber attacks.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund winners last week at London Tech Week Connects.

The winning research teams that will share the £10 million investment include the University of Southampton’s HD-Sec solution. This aims to create formal methods to guide software design which will speed up the process and reduce errors and security vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by hackers.

The University of Glasgow-led AppControl 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. The University of Birmingham-led solution, CAP-TEE, will use prototype microchips to protect systems that shield sensitive, personal data from hackers.

The Digital Security by Design programme, launched last year and delivered by UKRI, 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.

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.”

Digital Security by Design grant winners are:

  •     CAPcelerate: Capabilities for Heterogeneous Accelerators - Led by Dr Timothy Jones (University of Cambridge)
  •     CHERI for Hypervisors and Operating Systems (CHaOS) - Led by Dr Robert Watson (University of Cambridge)
  •     AppControl: Enforcing Application Behaviour through Type-Based Constraints - Led by Dr Wim Vanderbauwhede (University of Glasgow)
  •     CapableVMs - Led by Dr Laurence Tratt (King’s College London) and Dr Jeremy Singer (University of Glasgow)
  •     CapC: Capability C semantics, tools and reasoning - Led by Dr Mark Batty (University of Kent)
  •     CAP-TEE: Capability Architectures for Trusted Execution - Led by Dr David Oswald (University of Birmingham)
  •     CloudCAP: Capability-based Isolation for Cloud Native Applications - Led by Prof Peter Pietzuch (Imperial College London)
  •     Holistic Design of Secure Systems on Capability Hardware (HD-Sec) - Led by Professor Michael Butler (University of Southampton)
  •     SCorCH: Secure Code for Capability Hardware - Led by Dr Giles Reger (The University of Manchester) and Prof Daniel Kroening (University of Oxford)

 

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