Queen’s University BelfastThe impact of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

The impact of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

The impact of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) is a national cybersecurity research institute based at Queen’s University Belfast, emphasising research excellence combined with a unique model for, and focus on, commercialisation and innovation.

CSIT plays a key role in Northern Ireland’s cybersecurity ecosystem through the development of incubator programmes, start-ups and attracting foreign direct investment which had led to the creation of approximately 1600 jobs in this sector.

It is the UK’s only Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cybersecurity. It aims to produce significant high-quality impactful research in four key research areas:

  • Secure connected services
  • Networked security systems
  • Industrial control systems
  • Security intelligence

CSITs mission is to couple major research breakthroughs in the field of secure information technologies with a unique model of innovation and commercialisation to drive economic and societal impact. Cyber security challenges have grown exponentially in the last decade. A safe and secure cyberspace is fundamental to making the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online.

Industry engagement is at the heart of CSIT. Its unique membership model has seen the development of longstanding advisory and industrial collaborations with global partners including Altera, Allstate, BAE Systems, Cisco, Citi, Direct Line Group, First Derivatives, IBM, Infosys, Intel, McAfee, Roke, Seagate and Thales. This unique Open Innovation model allows research to translate to industry in an agile way, ensuring demonstrable technology is in the hands of end users quickly.

Recent examples include:

  • Partnering with BAE Systems on video based semantic analysis of crowd behaviour for the UK Defence and Security Accelerator
  • Thales has used CSIT novel Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) technology in a demonstrator for electronic component anti-counterfeiting
  • Thales and Dell EMC have both used CSIT practical post-quantum cryptography architectures and software libraries in demonstrators as a first step to commercialisation
  • A collaboration with TES Group, led to the discovery of a critical vulnerability affecting critical national infrastructure networks globally. As a result, the vendor developed a patch ensuring the vulnerability cannot be exploited by hackers
  • CSIT worked with Linz AG, an electrical distribution company in Austria, to reveal several problems and vulnerabilities in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks
  • CSIT have developed open source tools for testing the security of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) devices

In 2017 CSIT co-founded the international Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cyber Security (Global EPIC), which now has 30 Members in 17 countries, and has launched a global soft landing programme enabling trade and investment opportunities for UK cyber security companies.

We’re committed to making a meaningful impact on the world. A community of innovators, disruptors, and change-makers, we’re working with industry to broaden our translational impact to help tackle the global challenges of our age. Read more about how our research shapes worlds.

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