Queen's Uni. sets up �7m anti-cybercrime centre

Queen’s University Belfast is to become the UK’s lead centre for the developing technology to counter cybercrime, after a funding boost from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Almost £7m will fund a new Innovation and Knowledge Centre - the Centre for Secure Information Technologies - CSIT) - which will be based at Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) in the Northern Ireland Science Park, Belfast. CSIT will create the security infrastructure to safeguard digital information in home and workplace.

The Centre will bring together research specialists in complementary fields such as data encryption, network security systems, wireless enabled security systems and intelligent surveillance technology. Total funding has been provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£6.95m), the Technology Strategy Board (£2.5m), industry partners (£7m) and Queen’s (£8.8m).

“The Internet is evolving into an essential utility, like electricity, gas, and water,” says ECIT director Professor John McCanny. “The new Centre at ECIT will develop secure solutions to a number of problems, including the protection of mobile phone networks, guaranteeing privacy over unsecure networks for connected healthcare, and the creation of secure ‘corridors’ for the seamless and rapid transit of people, thus getting around the need for conventional security at airports.”

Queen’s is also working on processors capable of detecting and filtering viruses and worms to protect mass information databases like financial records from malicious attack and to facilitate high definition streaming video services, McCanny says.

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