Cardiff Uni and Airbus team up to open cyber security centre

Cardiff University and Airbus have partnered to launch the first of its kind centre in Europe to research and prevent cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. 

The new centre, which has officially been unveiled today, will provide world-leading research into the growing problem of cyber crime and how it affects organisations.

Called the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, it’ll be located Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science & Informatics and become a key part of the cyber security landscape.

It’ll bring together experts from Airbus and leading cyber security researchers who will carry out studies into machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence.

These professionals will explore ways of protecting corporate IT networks, intellectual property and critical national infrastructure from the threat of cyber attacks. 

The centre, which forms part of a strategic partnership between both parties, will also develop industry-relevant academic programmes at the university to close the skills gap.

There’ll also be improved knowledge sharing between Airbus and Cardiff University, with potential secondments and industrial placements being offered to researchers and students.

Dr Pete Burnap, director of the centre of excellence for cyber security analytics, said: “Cyber security analytics is about improving our resilience to cyber-attacks through data modelling to detect and block malicious behaviour before it causes its full impact.

Dr Kevin Jones, head of cyber security innovation at Airbus, said: “Collaborating with leading Universities such as Cardiff to research and develop sophisticated machine learning and data analytics for attack detection is a key approach in the future protection of critical systems.

“The launch of the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics is an enabler for the rapid transfer of research into operational activities and ensures that researchers are able to access the latest techniques and data, and in addition are supported by Airbus experts.”

Today’s announcement comes as the university was recently awarded with almost £1 million in external funding to help it launch new major programmes over the next three years. 

These projects will look at how cutting-edge machine learning algorithms can be used to detect cyber threats targeting various internet-enabled environments, including online social media.

Professor Colin Riordan, vice chancellor of Cardiff University, said: “This exciting new partnership is a great example of how Cardiff University’s expertise is linking up with world-leading businesses to make a better future for Wales and the world.

 “Cyber security research is of critical importance in our digital society so it’s extremely important that we find innovative, real-world solutions to help detect, and protect against, dangerous cyber-attacks.”