University of Southampton in the UK has opened a cybersecurity research centre and secured a government grant to focus on the discipline, according to BBC.
The university will use part of the cash to extend its study of biometrics – the identification of people by their biological characteristics.
University of Southampton director of the Cyber Security Centre of Excellence Vladimiro Sassone was quoted by BBC as saying that "It’s very easy to be a cybercriminal if you want to be."
Sassone said software was now readily available to help to carry out computer-controlled attacks.
"Attempts to tear down national infrastructures of entire countries are actually happening."
He added that illegal efforts ranged from large-scale attacks on transport and financial systems to attempts to steal private information from individuals.
In the UK eight universities have been chosen as Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.
Other selected universities include University of Bristol, Lancaster University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Southampton, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Royal Holloway, University of London, University College London.
The government’s cybersecurity scheme includes intelligence division GCHQ and the Department for Business and Skills.
UK minister of cybersecurity Francis Maude said when awarding the status: "We want to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business, by investing in the best expertise to keep pace with technological change,"
"These first eight centres will play a vital role in boosting research, expanding our cyber-skills base and fostering innovation in the field," Maude said.