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Cyber Security Research Centre


"Welcome to the Cybersecurity Research Centre here at Lancaster University. We are a rich vibrant community of multidisciplinary researchers passionate about driving the development of solutions to the challenges of modern digital life. As a well-established multidisciplinary community, we naturally approach cyber security problems in a disruptive and innovative way.

Our focus on socio-technical systems research enables us to take a broader view of where the cyber security challenges are and where the solutions may be found. We have great strength in applied and practical research and we often tell people that we like to ‘build what we study, and study what we build’. It is these three foundational elements – Multidisciplinary Approach, Socio-Technical Systems Research & Real World Applicability – that enables us to undertake disruptive, innovative research with considerable, internationally recognised, socio-economic impact.

We recognise, however, we cannot do this work on our own. We must combine our expertise with that of our innovation partners, in order to tackle key cybersecurity problems. As a community, we pride ourselves on how we engage with everyone from industry through to government; influencing everything from policy to product innovation.

By working with the most innovative organisations we are able to help organisations to grow, adapt and protect themselves, increasing prosperity for all. We want to work with you to help keep our global society safe."

Professor Nicholas Race
Director of the Cyber Security Research Centre

Our Philosophy

Our research philosophy is built around four defining pillars which we have developed through reflection on our own practices and engaging with the literature. The unique blend of inter-disciplinary, systems-centred and resilience-focused research on cyber security has led to a range of innovative research programmes – establishing Lancaster as a leading international centre in cyber security research.


  • Take a socio-technical approach:

    We consider humans, organisations and technical systems together.

    Traditional research on cyber security tends to bifurcate online/offline and treat humans as separate from technologies. In contrast, we consider cyber behaviour is shaped by individual and group processes and, equally, technology is made vulnerable and is exploited by the individual. This embedded view of cyber security enables us to more insightfully encapsulate the socio-technical aspects of security in the digital world: in fact, it provokes new thinking about established distinctions between such concepts as online/offline, attacker/insider, risk/protection.

  • Based on grounded, systems-centred research:

    We build what we study, we study what we build.

    On the one hand, we undertake studies of large-scale socio-technical settings to investigate their resilience to cyber-attacks—for instance, we have undertaken studies of the resilience of the Internet backbone in Europe as well as security of wireless mesh infrastructures. On the other hand, we validate novel cyber security solutions emerging from our research in real-world settings, either through deployment in the wild (such as our “Living Lab” in the village of Wray) or through state-of-the-art facilities, such as our Industrial Control Systems and Software-defined Networking testbeds.

  • Design with resilience in mind:

    We design systems able to operate under attacks and other challenges.

    Our focus on novel resilience approaches keeps attackers out and improves the survivability of large scale socio-technical systems when they come under attack or may be partially-compromised.

  • Engage with the very best partners:

    We support community development, from SME to government and from innovation to policy.

    We recognise we cannot undertake this work on our own. We must combine our expertise with that of partners to tackle key cyber security problems. As a community we pride ourselves on how we develop sustainable relationships with everyone from industry through to government. It is our partnerships that support us in undertaking disruptive, innovative research with considerable, internationally recognised, socio-economic impact.

What We Do

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