South East Wales

Cardiff cyber security research centre 'first in Europe'

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A new research centre to tackle cyber attacks has been set up in Cardiff.

Launching the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, Cardiff University and Airbus said it was the first of its kind in Europe.

Their research will aim to protect corporate IT networks, intellectual property and critical national infrastructure.

The university has also been awarded almost £2m, aimed at developing a machine to detect cyber threats.

The centre will be located at the university's School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Together with experts from Airbus, researchers will carry out studies into machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence for cyber-attack detection.

Image caption The centre will be based at Cardiff University's School of Computer Science and Informatics

The centre will also develop academic programmes in cyber security, in an attempt "to fill the skills gap that currently exists in the field".

Dr Pete Burnap from the university, the centre's director, said: "Cyber security analytics is about improving our resilience to cyber-attacks through data modelling to detect and block malicious behaviour before it causes its full impact.

"But [it's] also about understanding what motivates the behaviour, what its likely impact will be, and how to communicate security alerts among decision and policy-makers."

Dr Kevin Jones, head of cyber security innovation at Airbus, said collaborating with universities was "a key approach in the future protection of critical systems".

He said the centre would enable the rapid transfer of research into operational activities and ensure researchers are able to access the latest techniques and data.

In March, the National Cyber Security Centre's Cardiff-born director of operations said Wales was well placed to take advantage of the growing industry in tackling online crime.

A National Software Academy has already been established in Newport to train the next generation of experts, while the Welsh Government wants to make south east Wales a hub for the industry.

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