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Securing our futures with research-based cyber security

30th July 2018

Categories: Latest News

Matt Lewis, Research Director, NCC Group

In general, investment in new and emerging technologies does not cover cyber security implications. NCC Group’s ambition is to expand its research-based approach to cyber security truly to understand the threats, vulnerabilities and mitigations of the technologies that are set to define humankind’s future – and the Group is building on Manchester’s innovation strengths in doing so. 

Innovation running at pace

Keeping up with research, development and innovation in new and emerging technologies sometimes feels like running on a treadmill as the running pace is continuously increased. 

The UK Government Office for Science’s January 2017 Technology and Innovation Futures report [1] concluded that “technologies are converging to create important applications for businesses and consumers, and for governments and citizens”. In simple terms, everyone’s life will inevitably be impacted, if not transformed by new and emerging technologies. Next generation photonics, quantum computing, distributed ledgers, automation, smarter transport and energy infrastructure, the internet of things, software-defined networking, driverless cars, artificial intelligence…Despite the recurrence of certain buzzwords, the mind still does boggle at the sheer scale of innovation across a whole range of different sectors, industries and areas. Not just because of this, in November 2017, the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy announced plans to boost spending on R&D to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027 while setting out four grand challenges that “will transform our future”. 

And the public sector isn’t the only one investing in innovation. 

Security, the ugly duckling

But while considerable public (and private) investment is poured into the development of emerging technologies, their market readiness and competitiveness, little consideration is given to their (cyber) security implications, even though the vast majority of said emerging technologies rely on internet connectivity. Innovation, arguably, emerges as the white swan, head held high, while security, the ugly duckling, unloved by many, trails behind, a hindrance more than anything else.

In need of a hero?

Enter those parts of the (cyber) security which focus their innovation investment and research resources into securing emerging technologies. 

NCC Group, for example, has the ambition to understand more about the threat, vulnerability and workable mitigations of emerging technologies than anyone else. The company believes that the hardest problems are those on the edge, where they research, demonstrate and quantify the art of the possible in defence and offence, understand what is practicable at scale and, in the ideal scenario, materially improve the situation. 

NCC Group are proponents of principles of security and privacy by design, and their research seeks to expose why these principles are paramount for adoption as we move to an ever-increasing digitally-connected world.

That means that the company undertakes sector-specific technology threat and vulnerability research, looking, for example at next generation networks such as 5G; consider the utilisation of cloud technologies for scaled security; and review the implications of artificial intelligence and machine learning for offensive and defensive cyber security. 

And they are doing this across the globe, from mainland Europe to Asia Pacific to North America, bringing together the industry’s most brilliant minds to find answers to tomorrow’s challenges. 

Want to meet NCC Group at Black Hat USA and find out about the company’s new technologies? Attend Justin Engler and Tyler Lukasiewicz’s WebAssembly

If you’re attending Black Hat USA 2018, click here for more information and to book a meeting with Andrew Toolan, Business Development Manager, MIDAS and find out how Manchester, the UK’s emerging cyber security hub, can help you. If you’re not going to Black Hat USA, you can always get in touch with Andrew here.

  1. Technology and Innovation Futures 2017 

  2. Industrial Strategy: Build a Britain fit for the future  

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