Increasing threats, changing work patterns and new customer behaviours bring cyber security issues to the fore

To learn more, download our Cyber Security e-book which contains a longer overview of research relevant to cybersecurity solutions and includes a number of in-depth articles covering the work of our academics in this field. 

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Recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre as an Academic Centre of Excellence, Imperial’s cybersecurity community draws in academics from Computing, Mathematics, the Institute for Security Science and Technology and the Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering.

The rapid – and rapidly accelerating – amount of data in the world requires us to do more than just become familiar with ever more extravagant unit prefixes (the digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes of data during 2020). Because this data and its transmission and analysis underpin new ways of working, new ways of understanding and new ways of interacting with customers, it is immensely powerful – and therefore valuable.  

Businesses have understood the value of data for years now, and recently new legislation such as the UK Data Protection Act and GDPR has codified this understanding into law. As data has grown in importance, though, so have attempted to steal it. In early 2020, Sky News reported that the UK defence industry had experienced an unprecedented rise in cybersecurity breaches.

The WHO made a similar report. In March, the National Crime Agency warned that groups may exploit COVID19 to target UK firms. A government survey looking back at 2019 showed that 46% of businesses and 26% of charities experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack, with a growing number (32% vs 22% in 2017) experiencing them at least once a week. It’s clear that your company’s data is a precious resource, and that attempts to steal or manipulate it will continue to grow. 

But it’s not all bad news. The past five years have seen greater board engagement with cybersecurity issues, and a growing understanding of the best way to confront and manage risks has emerged. 54% of businesses seek information and guidance on cybersecurity, 43% have staff whose role involves information security and governance, and 35% carry out cybersecurity risk assessments.  

Imperial College London may be in a good position to support businesses seeking expertise at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. With capabilities in privacy, risk and trust, resilient systems, statistical cybersecurity, breach detection, stable infrastructure networks, security in distributed systems and quantitative decisions and blockchain, it is recognised as one of the UK’s leading universities in cybersecurity research.  

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