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Research

Our Research Strengths

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. The research of the CSRC is focused around four themes: Security of Large-Scale Networks, Security of Cyber Physical Systems and Infrastructures, New forms of Privacy and Identity, and Cyber Security Behaviours.

A theme-based, rather than a group-based, structure enables us to work together across the themes, with several staff contributing to multiple themes.

Research Themes

Security of Large-Scale Networks

We perform theoretical and experimental research to increase the resilience, survivability and dependability of networks.

Security of Cyber Physical Systems and Infrastructures

We develop techniques to address security problems of cyber physical infrastructures commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

New forms of Privacy and Identity

We explore new forms of identity for technology and human. Lancaster is pioneering new approaches to alternative forms of biometric identification in our world leading H-Unique programme.

Cyber Security Behaviours

Using a combination of psychology and linguistic techniques, we undertake studies of how specific individuals or groups use the Internet.

Security of Large-Scale Networks

We perform theoretical and experimental research to increase the resilience, survivability and dependability of networks. Examples of this include the EPSRC/BT NGI-CDI Prosperity Partnership, the EPSRC project SAI2 (Situation-aware Information Infrastructure) and the EPSRC programme grant: TOUCAN: (Towards Ultimate Convergence of All Networks). We develop protocols and encryption mechanisms for low powered devices such as smartphones, and techniques to improve the information security of wireless communications. We are working on virtualisation technologies for host and network and have specialised in developing scalable security monitoring and robustness using SDN. Our research here is supported by SDN and NFV testbed facilities, and a CyberThreat Lab that has recently been installed through collaboration and investment from Fujitsu.

Security of Large-Scale Networks

Security of Cyber Physical Systems

We develop techniques to address security problems of cyber physical infrastructures commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT). We develop new approaches to systems, communications, and understanding infrastructures unique risks to develop resilient platforms to support the automation of physical processes in domains such as the nuclear industry and factories, Operational Technology Management Post Cyber Incident. Our research is supported by an Industrial Control Systems Lab that hosts real equipment found in common process control environments.

Security of Cyber Physical Systems

New forms of Privacy and Identity

We explore new forms of identity for technology and human. As a society we need to know who and what we are interacting with. In systems, devices need to use identity to establish trust to perform actions on our behalf. Using these new forms of identity, we explore privacy and privacy preserving mechanisms in applications from digital democracy, through online communications. Lancaster is pioneering new approaches to alternative forms of biometric identification in our world leading H-Unique programme. We also continue our leading research on privacy in pervasive and interactive digital environments. We have developed the first physically-unclonable function based on quantum physics to support privacy and anonymisation. Our £2M IsoLab facility supports research in this area by providing an environment to study quantum systems in controlled conditions.

New forms of Privacy and Identity

Cyber Security Behaviours

Using a combination of psychology and linguistic techniques, we undertake studies of how specific individuals or groups use the Internet, and, conversely, how we can use Internet behaviour to make inferences about an individual’s actions, both of regular users and adversaries. Examples of this include our research on the detection of insider threats, sophisticated social engineering attacks, noise-aware stylometry and mimicry in online conversations, led by CREST (Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats). We have a variety of configurable lab spaces for psychology experiments, monitoring equipment and observational suites to support this activity.

Cyber Security Behaviours