Tackling the threat of electronic crime to make our cyber society safer
The Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is the focal point for UK expertise in cyber security issues. The KTN connects government, industry and academia to solve problems, develop innovative ideas and support the growth of UK business expertise in the e-security market.
The KTN is a membership organisation funded by the government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and managed and run by QinetiQ. It was established in 2006 to develop the UK’s position as leader in the information security market, and stimulate wealth creation and economic growth. Membership of the KTN is free of charge.
Agenda-setting and influencing the e-security industry are key remits of the KTN. Through various events, consultations and high-profile meetings, the Cyber Security KTN has influenced its community, and has contributed to an ongoing parliamentary initiative examining internet governance, led by Alun Michael MP. The KTN has also given its independent advice to the TSB, central Government and Parliament regarding cyber security issues.
The KTN regularly engages with the media. It has generated over 25 articles across the national, computer and security trade media since April 2008. Media coverage promoting the KTN has reached a worldwide audience of over 2.5 million people. Another key part of KTN activity is the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), regularly created to address the demand to solve cyber security challenges that require collaboration between government, academics, business leaders and IT professionals.
Current topics explored by SIGs include making computer software more secure, measuring the scale of security threats, the effectiveness of IT security technology, understanding data privacy compliance, and how human activity can lead to security vulnerabilities. SIGs are chaired by senior representatives from organisations such as Symantec, HP Research Laboratories, the Cabinet Office and University College London (UCL). The KTN is currently setting up a new SIG that will look at the economics of implementing security policies in the business environment, and it is expected to hold its first meeting, chaired by Professor David Pym from HP Labs, in September. In setting up and running a Special Interest Group, the KTN will provide technical and administrative support. New SIGs can be created at any time, and the KTN strongly encourages ideas from businesses, government and the IT industry to come forward to discuss ideas for new groups.
The Cyber Security KTN can also award grants to enable businesses and academics to work on vital cyber security research. One example of the KTN’s recent funding has helped SMEs identify how well they are equipped to cope with e-security problems. The KTN also encourages businesses to take part in its funding competitions, allowing opportunities for cyber security research to be carried out. The aim of the competitions is to drive innovation, industry collaboration, and to inform the government on future funding strategies relating to cyber security issues. Successful competition winners can receive up to £50,000 for their research project. The KTN welcomes enquiries from anyone interested in applying for funding.
Industrial CASE Awards are another fund awarded by the KTN on behalf of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for postgraduate students to work with a company for three years to solve a specific cyber security challenge. CASE awards allow companies to build closer ties with universities, or to embark on their first joint project with academia through an introduction from the KTN.
The KTN also organises regional events focusing on e-security. The PULSE programme brings the national debate on information, data and cyber issues to a local and regional audience, facilitating knowledge transfer, innovation and effective responses to business needs. Details of dates and venues for forthcoming PULSE events can be accessed via the KTN’s website. Each month the KTN produces a free electronic newsletter containing news, reports, and upcoming events, to keep the cyber community up to date with the latest developments affecting their industry.
In only two years the KTN has worked hard to establish itself as the first point of contact for cyber security advice. However, with incidents of e-crime rising, it will not become complacent in its thinking and activity. The KTN is working hard to understand what its audience needs to help minimise cyber security breaches. It wants to promote access to funding for its stakeholders, so that they can carry out research and development in e-crime alleviation. The KTN is working to stay one step ahead of the latest security breaches that affect society, so that it can give strong guidance and support in this field.
Ultimately, the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network’s aim for the future is to provide a platform for government, industry, UK business and academia to interact to combat the threat of cyber crime together.
Further information about the Cyber Security
KTN and its activities can be found at:
Added the 10 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1