The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)
We’ve already talked about how Northern Ireland has revolutionised the UK cyber security industry and how, through a combination of expertise and good old-fashioned nous, our region’s outputs are among the most coveted in the world. But what about concrete examples? Well, let us introduce you to the Centre for Secure Information Technologies based at Queen’s University Belfast or CSIT for short.
CSIT is a global flagship centre for cybersecurity. As a renowned global hub, CSIT’s meteoric rise as the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cybersecurity has seen it develop into both a partner of choice for big-name multinationals and a dynamic motor of local growth. CSIT is recognised by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (Part of GCHQ) as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) and in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE).
CSIT has forged its reputation by devising solutions to sophisticated cybercrime threats and by using digital technologies to boost the security of individuals and organisations worldwide. Its focus is on leading-edge research that can translate rapidly into market-relevant, market-ready products and services which are being utilised in sectors from finance to defence.
This has not simply cemented CSIT’s global status as an influential cybersecurity pioneer, it has also turned the eyes of the world towards Belfast. An impressive roster of business members such as Thales, Allstate and BAE Systems help shape its research strategy, while close collaboration with First Derivatives, eBay, Seagate, Nvidia and other IT giants, and with leading global cybersecurity institutes, has extended its worldwide reach.
CSIT is a delivery partner for the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA), is a founding partner of Global ecosystem of ecosystems partnership in innovation and cybersecurity (Global EPIC) and leads the UK Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (UK RISE).
The Centre’s impact can be felt across Northern Ireland, nurturing a talent pipeline of trained cyber professionals and encouraging investment into the region from key players who are keen to know more. 72 students are currently enrolled on its post-graduate taught applied cyber security programmes. Every day, cyber security businesses are springing up and expanding, and even companies who don’t specialise in the area are investing in bringing cyber security innovation in-house. All of these things create jobs, and out of these jobs come field-defining experts who grow the region’s reputation with every project they work on.
Thanks to funding from bodies like the EPSRC and Innovate UK, some of CSIT’s research has even been deployed in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. With an ever-expanding track record of achievement, CSIT and the innovation ecosystem it facilitates are only set to get stronger in the coming years.
Judith Millar – Business Development Manager, CSIT