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March 27, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 12:58pm

Oxford Uni launches Cyber Security Centre

Research team will look at cloud and mobile security as well as countering terrorism threats

By Steve Evans

Oxford University has taken the wraps off its new Cyber Security Centre, which aims to add some "creative thought" to improving online security.

A statement from the university said that new thinking is needed to successfully tackle the changing nature of online threats. "We exist in a data-centric world: we all depend on secure and reliable networks and information systems in our everyday lives – from using social networks, buying goods and services online," the statement said.

"This makes the protection of our digital assets and activities in cyberspace of critical importance… But the challenge to understand cyber risk and deliver effective and accessible security becomes harder as technology continues to rapidly evolve and our systems become ever more complex," the university added.

"The Oxford Cyber Security Centre is the new home to cutting-edge research designed to tackle the growing threats posed by cyber terrorism and cyber crime, and to safeguard the trustworthiness of electronically-stored information."

The Cyber Security Centre will support 12 permanent academic staff, 25 research staff and 18 doctoral students.

Its aim is to, "anticipate, deter, detect, resist and tolerate attacks, understand and predict cyber risks, and respond and recover effectively at all levels."

The Centre will continue research into subjects already covered by the university, including standard security issues such as: detecting insider threats in cloud computing environments, malicious applications on smartphones and evaluating the risk involved with social networking environments.

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But the research will also look at other issues, such as: "Exploring the science of hiding information by embedding messages within other, seemingly harmless messages; and the art of uncovering such messages designed for malicious or terrorist intent," as the university puts it.

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