The Security Hub in the Department of Informatics strategically coordinates researchers from all Informatics groups around security, with a particular focus on information and cyber security. In collaboration with War and Defence Studies, the Hub is the lead in the accreditation of King’s Cybersecurity Centre as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR), which is a crucial mechanism to facilitate engagement with external stakeholders including government organisations, research-funding agencies, and the broader industrial sector. The Security Hub’s five main research themes are as follows:
- AI Cyber Security. This comprises both the use of AI for cyber security (including data-driven techniques such as Machine Learning, but also knowledge-based techniques such as Argumentation, Normative Systems, Trust), and the cyber security of AI itself (including security, trust, privacy and transparency guarantees).
- Formal Cyber Security. This includes the theoretical aspects of cyber security such as theoretical computer science approaches for verification and testing to provide assurance, correctness and technology-readiness of security protocols, mobile and web applications, cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things.
- Strategic Cyber Security. This includes the socio-political and strategic aspects of cyber security such as cyber risks, cyber threats, cyber intelligence, cyber policy and cyber defence, and their relationship to risk assessment, management and governance.
- Cryptography. This covers the hard mathematical problems underpinning cryptographic constructions, cryptanalysis, and construction of cryptographic primitives and protocols and their application.
- Human-centred Cyber Security and Privacy. This comprises human factors in security and privacy as well as usable security and privacy, with a focus on studying preferences, perceptions and mental models of security and privacy in systems; designing and developing novel user-centred and easy-to-use security and privacy mechanisms; and creating mechanisms to explain security and privacy in an actionable way.
These themes reflect the key current cyber security strengths at KCL and the inter-disciplinary link to other key KCL strengths, notably AI, theoretical computer science, and conflict and security studies. Strategically, the themes are intertwined and complementary, and they are crucial to understanding and tackling the complex nature of evolving cyber security challenges. For instance, AI-powered cyber intelligence is becoming increasingly important for the strategy and defence of nation-states, and it lies at the intersection of AI Cyber Security and Strategic Cyber Security; likewise, the security guarantees needed for AI and Autonomous Systems, which formal verification can bring, lie at the intersection of AI Cyber Security and Formal Cyber Security.
The Co-Champions of the Security Hub are Jose Such and Ruba Abu-Salma, and a full list of members can be found here.