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Crimebusters of Tomorrow

Posted: 6th May 2015

Cyber Academy launch - PR pic with Bill Buchanan and Napier Statue

Cyber Academy will unite worlds of education, industry and law enforcement in the battle against internet crooks

EXPERTS in computer security gathered at Edinburgh Napier University for the launch of a new crime-busting International Cyber Academy. The academy will bring together industry professionals, law enforcers and academics to combat the growing threat from sophisticated criminals who use hacking software to steal money, data and intellectual property.

The world of cyber crime is continually evolving as we become more dependent on the internet, with technological change leading to new bugs and viruses which are used to disrupt networks, commit fraud or carry out espionage. The Edinburgh Napier-led Cyber Academy will integrate with the EU-funded Dynamic Forensics Evaluation and Training (DFET) project, which is building an infrastructure for cyber security training and creating new training methods and techniques to support the authorities.The University which takes its name from logarithms inventor John Napier will help address the 21st century demand for cyber security specialists and provide a mechanism for interaction between students and organisations. Innovative ideas will be developed through funded PhD research, and students and professionals will learn how to secure systems, respond to security breaches and how to investigate the work of hackers.

Hutchinson Networks has been named as an associate member of the Cyber Academy and will play an important role in this significant new initiative. Hutchinson Networks has always offered cyber security as part of the solutions and services it provides around the network lifecycle and will be able to offer its experience to this collective effort to better understand and minimize cybercrime. The Edinburgh Napier-led Cyber Academy will integrate with the EU-funded Dynamic Forensics Evaluation and Training (DFET) project, which is building an infrastructure for cyber security training and creating new training methods and techniques to support the authorities.”

The launch is being supported by leading cyber security companies as well as the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland, will integrate teaching, research and professional practice and create a platform for the discussion of key issues.  The Academy will support a range of conferences, symposiums and workshops.It will also help develop flexible training programmes with academic credits towards qualifications like Edinburgh Napier’s GCHQ intelligence agency-certified MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics.

Professor Bill Buchanan, of Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, said:

“The demand for graduates in this area increases by the day, and we thus aim for The Cyber Academy to continue a strive for excellence in teaching, professional practice and research. It is an area which requires many different skillsets to work together, and we believe the academy will achieve this. Cyber Security is one of the key challenges areas in this Cyber Age, and it is something which will affect both our work and home life. There is such scope, too, to support innovation around novel methods in computer security, and grow the new companies who can become world-leaders.”  “As a university with two successful spin-outs in Cyber Security, we aim to provide extensive support for funding and access to entrepreneurs with a strong background in the area. As world leaders debate the rights to privacy against the rights to detect threats against society, we also aim for The Cyber Academy to be the place in which everyone can get involved and discuss the key issues of this age.”

Edinburgh is becoming a key hub for innovation and enterprise within computer security and Wednesday’s launch event will be attended by delegates from the worlds of finance, banking and Government as well as cyber security specialists. The speakers will include representatives from the National Cyber Crime Unit, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Police Scotland and a range of businesses. Technology consultancy, FarrPoint have confirmed they will be taking advantage of the opportunity to sign up as an associate member of the Academy.

Neil Anderson, Security Director at FarrPoint, said:

“Effective cyber security is critical for Scotland’s national infrastructure and is only gaining in importance.  Our economy is increasingly reliant on complex, interconnected IT systems so we urgently need more highly skilled cyber security experts to help us defend ourselves from the growing cyber threat and protect Scotland’s economy, particularly in the flourishing SME sector.”

 “Napier’s excellent track record in producing high quality cyber security graduates underlines Edinburgh’s superb reputation as a centre of excellence for cyber security expertise.  We look forward to working enthusiastically with Napier to maintain this fantastic record of achievement.”

Cormac Callanan, CEO of Aconite Internet Solutions, said the Cyber Academy was “a very timely initiative”.

He said: We all depend on the internet for social and business activities. Yet, every day, we are disturbingly reminded about high profile attacks against the IT systems of companies who are household names. These attacks have significant financial and reputational impact on these companies and disrupt consumer trust and confidence which has taken years to create.” “At the same time the latest research confirms the scarcity of skilled and trained cybersecurity personnel that can protect these companies against attacks and partner with law enforcement to investigate and conduct forensic analysis of attack patterns.”“The Cyber Academy is Edinburgh Napier University’s response and contribution towards the global shortage of trusted cyber security people of tomorrow.”

Paul Hutchinson, CEO of Hutchinson Networks, said:

“Hutchinson Networks prides itself on being able to deliver fully optimised IT networks that allow companies to achieve their business goals, and security and reliability is a major part of that package. Hutchinson Networks is proud to be adding our experience to Edinburgh Napier’s Cyber Academy and strengthening its ability to achieve its targets.”

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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