The future of the UK’s Cyber Security Research Position in the World

Awais Rashid*, Chris Hankin, Steve Schneider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Cyber security is one of the major challenges facing our modern connected digital world. As we build ever more connected infrastructures and digital services, not only the security of the data in our digital economy, but also the safety and continued operation of critical systems such as water, power and transportation, rely on them being cyber secure. The National Security Strategy has a goal to make the UK the safest place to do business online in the world. Research at UK universities plays a leading role in meeting this goal – anticipating the cyber security challenges of emerging and future technologies and identifying methods, tools and technologies to mitigate the risks of harm.

The UK is currently recognised as one of the leading countries in the world in cyber security research. This is evidenced by research outputs in leading international venues, research collaborations with major international centres and global industry organisations and key UK researchers acting on
the international advisory bodies of major research centres worldwide and global policy forums.

Is this global position sustainable? Or, as other countries up their game and invest heavily in cyber security, do we risk falling behind if comparable level of investment in research on cyber security are not made by the UK?

We have identified and characterised, where possible, the strategic investments in cyber security research made by some of the leading research nations in the world, namely, the UK, USA, EU Horizon 2020 programme, France, Germany, Israel and Singapore. We have analysed funding allocated from 2012–2019 through strategic calls for research grants and large centres in these countries to evaluate and compare the types and values of those strategic investments, with particular context given to the current and planned future investments in cyber security research in the UK. Through this analysis we provide an evidence-based perspective on whether the nature and rate of investment made in UK cyber security research will remain at par with our major competitors worldwide and, if not, identify the risks of not doing so for the future of UK research and innovation – and its global leadership in this critical sector.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNational Cyber Security Centre
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2020

Structured keywords

  • Cyber Security


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