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Government cyber security body funds new research into leading crime and security threats

The Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has announced that it will provide with two new sources of funding for research projects that will investigate, explain, and propose solutions to some of the principal causes of cyber crime and harm in the UK. The new funding sources are as follows:

1. Funding competitions – three separate allocations of £50,000 for organisations or consortia that can research three cyber security challenges and deliver the following:

- A guide for smaller organisations on how to understand and prevent e-crime (in association with the National e-Crime Prevention Centre and West Midlands Police). Focus on help for those organisations which do not have in-house IT support.

- A prescribed way to identify, assess and manage the information security risks associated with offshore or outsourced operations (in association with the London School of Economics’ Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation).

- A report on the security risks associated with service orientated architectures –software systems which define how computer programmes should work together to perform work on behalf of each other.

2. Industrial CASE Awards – funds awarded by the KTN on behalf of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for post-graduate students to work with a company for three years to solve a specific cyber security challenge.

Each company contributes a quarter of the cost of working with a student and university, and the EPSRC contributes the remainder. CASE awards allow companies to build closer ties with universities or to embark on their first joint project with academia through an introduction from the KTN.

Together, these new opportunities equate to more than £250,000 of potential research funds for addressing the UK’s growing cyber security threat.

By acting as a conduit for this funding, the KTN will drive new collaborative approaches to addressing cyber crime and security in the UK, whilst generating information that informs government where and when to fund future research.

Submissions for the competitions, and expressions of interest for the Case awards should be made by 2nd May 2008. More information on how to apply can be found at (opens in new tab)

The Cyber Security KTN is the focal point for UK cyber security expertise. It is run by QinetiQ on behalf of the government’s Technology Strategy Board.

Its director, Nigel Jones knows the importance of understanding the threats before you attempt to alleviate them.

“One of the greatest challenges presented by cyber crime is the lack of understanding from those most at risk. Because few of those in real danger recognise the threat, telling them how to solve the problem can fall on deaf ears. One of the primary goals of these funding opportunities is to raise awareness of the nature of the threat. Only then are we in a position to develop solutions which those at risk will acknowledge, appreciate and implement.”

The Cyber Security KTN is a government network of UK IT security specialists representing the UK’s expertise on technical security threats. It is run by QinetiQ.

The members of the KTN are market leaders throughout the IT industry, and seeks to combine the best minds from academia with the leading figures to work together to combat the threat posed by cyber crime.

The biggest problem that arises with cyber security is that there is a distinct lack of understanding about how it may affect people, who may be affected, what to do if you are a victim, and where you stand within the law.

The ultimate goal is to take steps to create systems and methods of combating e-crime through sharing knowledge and improving technology security throughout the industry.

In order to address this, the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network is looking for participants from the academic world to strike up partnerships with key figures from industry to try and tackle the pressing issues that arise when looking at e-crime.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.