William Hague announces University Cyber Security Centre

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POLITICS Hague 142477William Hague last week announced that the government’s Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building is to be based from the University’s Martin School.

The Centre, whose launch coincided with the G8 summit of foreign ministers, will provide a world leading resource for understanding how to optimally deliver cyber security and will work with the UK government, as well as those of other countries to maximise its effectiveness and deliver a safer cyber environment.

Hague calls the Centre a “beacon of expertise” and notes that “Basing the new Global Centre for Cyber Security and Capacity Building in Oxford University’s Martin School will mean we are taking a positive and tangible step to coordinating efforts on cyber threats and cyber policies which will help protect the UK.”

It has annual funding of £500,000 for at least the next two years, and was originally proposed by Cabinet Office Cyber Security minster Francis Maude during last October’s Budapest Conference on Cyberspace. Maude believes that the centre will ensure that “cyberspace supports innovation, economic growth and social benefits.”

The Centre’s objectives are four-fold: to create a critical guide to global expertise on cyber security, to set out what needs to be done to close gaps in the global response to cyber threats, to identify what works and what doesn’t and why, and to increase the supply of effective capacity building through the stimulation of funding and access to expertise.

It is certainly not short of experts; both the Director of the Martin School and the Head of the new Centre are Oxford academics. Ian Goldin, Director of the Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Devlopment at the University, is excited about the development: “The Oxford Martin School’s purpose is to address critical challenges of the future. We are convinced that integrated thinking on cyber security is required. We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the Cyber Capacity Centre within our interdisciplinary community at the University of Oxford.”

Professor Sadie Creese has been chosen to head the Centre. She is the Professor of Cyber Security and Co-Director of Oxford Martin School’s Institute for the Future of Computing and is thrilled to be taking on the new position. She outlines some of the Centre’s objectives: “We aim to make our research findings available to governments, communities and organisations in a manner which can define global priorities for cyber security capacity building; identify opportunities for mutual support and international development; stimulate investment in areas crucial to capacity building; and underpin the increase of their capacity in ways appropriate to ensuring a cyber space which can continue to grow and innovate in support of well-being, human rights and prosperity for all.”

It is proposed that the centre encourages collaboration between intellectuals, the British government, as well as those of other countries’, and also industry leaders; Martin Borrett, Director of the IBM Institute for Advanced Security Europe, highlights the importance of such a project. “The Cyber Security Capacity Centre initiative is an exceptionally timely and important contribution to the activities of the global community seeking to secure cyberspace. The IBM Institute for Advanced Security Europe and our international operations look forward to working with Oxford and their partners to ensure a safe and sustainable cyberspace for all.”