Blog posts

The role of industry in security and defence innovation

Adrian Holt is Head of Defence at Capita Consulting and a mentor to a range of start-ups. He is a retired Royal Air Force Officer having served for more than 24 years.

Capita is a consulting, digital services and software business, delivering innovative solutions and simplifying the connections between businesses and customers, governments and citizens. The company is one of our industry partners in the ISST Innovation Ecosystem.

The role of industry in the broad security and defence innovation ecosystem is a subject close to my heart. Throughout my career I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to defence procurement, and I know that we can, and we must, do better.

Expert panel shines light on key space safety and security issues

The Institute for Security Science and Technology recently ran an online briefing event with Imperial SpaceLab and ISPL around space safety and security.

The discussion highlighted the complexity of issues around space commercialisation and governance, and touched on international relations, politics and science.

We posed a few questions to three members of the expert panel to share their thoughts on some of the main discussion threads which came up.

The panel included Dr Jonathan Eastwood (Imperial College London), Nick Howes (BMT) and Rich Laing (Nato Communications and Information Agency).

 

Dr Jonathan Eastwood, Senior Lecturer and Director of Imperial SpaceLab

“The area of space safety and security cuts across an enormous variety of sectors and interests.

Introducing BMT – the latest partner to join the ISST Innovation Ecosystem

Earlier this year we welcomed BMT as the latest industry partner in the ISST Innovation Ecosystem.

BMT is an international design, engineering, technology and risk management consultancy . With a broad and deep range of expertise, BMT operates across multiple markets including Shipping, Defence, Security, Environment and Infrastructure.

Max Swinscow-Hall recently caught up with Alan Hodgson – Security, Policing and Justice Lead at BMT – to learn more about what they offer and how they are planning to get involved with the ecosystem.

What is BMT’s mission and how do you achieve this?

Our mission is to provide clarity from complexity; working with our customers to turn their complex projects into clear thinking and groundbreaking solutions.

Jo Symons from DASA talks about innovation and DASA’s successes

The UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) opened a hub in the I-HUB building on Imperial’s White City campus back in July of 2018.  Since then, the presence of security and defence organisations at the I-HUB has continued to grow with the expanding ISST Innovation Ecosystem.

ISST Special Projects Manager, Zarine Khurshid, caught up with Jo Symons who joined DASA early 2020, to give Jo the opportunity to introduce herself and talk more about innovation in security and defence, and DASA’s successes to date.

What led you to join DASA?

I joined DASA at the end of February but it feels as if my career to date has been leading to this role.

Sailing into the Coronavirus Storm Together. A captain’s advice for the rough seas ahead.

This article was originally published online by the U.S. Naval Institute, and featured in the March 2020 issue of their journal Proceedings.

Captain Brasseur has over 20 years leadership experience in the U.S. Navy, including command of the USS Whirlwind (PC-11) at the age of 30 in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is currently serving in the Armament Cooperation Directorate at the U.S. Mission to NATO. The views presented here are his own, and not that of the U.S. Navy or U.S. Mission to NATO.

The ISST is collaborating with NATO and the NATO MUSIC^2 programme via the White City Ecosystem.

What does artificial intelligence mean for cyber security? Prof Chris Hankin speaks to the House of Lords Select Committee.

Cyber attacks are considered one of the major threats for national security by the UK government. Artificial intelligence is considered to be a technology with major potential benefit. But what happens when these two worlds combine?

That’s exactly what the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence wanted to know. To find out more, they recently called in Professor Chris Hankin, Co-Director of the Institute for Security Science and Technology, to provide the panel with professional insight.

Below is a cut and edited summary of the evidence session. Some of the questions included have been rephrased. You can watch the full session online here.

Can we trust cyber-physical systems?

A post by Professor Emil Lupu, Associate Director of the ISST and Director of the Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.

It’s often reported that we can expect 30 billion IoT devices in the world by 2020, creating webs of cyber-physical systems that combine the digital, physical and human dimensions.

In the not too distant future, an autonomous car will zip you through the ‘smart’ city, conversing with the nearby vehicles and infrastructure to adapt its route and speed. As you sit in the back seat, tiny medical devices might measure your vitals and send updates to your doctor for your upcoming appointment.

The Security of Driverless Cars

A post by Dr Deeph Chana, Deputy Director for the Institute for Security Science and Technology. This blog first appeared as an opinion piece on GATEway project website, 19 September 2017. 

The opportunities that driverless vehicles present are undoubtedly profound. None more so than the emergence of multi-modal transport services (trains, planes, automobiles … and boats) that will intelligently cooperate to take us from A to B without any human intervention.

Replacing the old biological controllers — namely us — the autonomous vehicle will excel in everything from energy efficiency to just being safe. The technology of today already affords us a near-term vision of the car where route planning and optimisation, refuelling and recharging, transactions with services (tolls , shops , parking lots), and authentication and hand-shaking for the purpose of site access control are all automatically achieved by the vehicle, without the human ‘in-the-loop’.

How the Internet of Things poses fresh risks to public sector systems

A post by Professor Chris Hankin, Director ISST. This blog originally appeared on publictechnology.net published 19.06.2017.

With the cyber threat shifting its focus to sabotage rather than data theft, many of the defences deployed by public sector organisations will have to be adapted for the new world.

Information security policies are commonly guided by the CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability. Many of the big security stories in the media relate to confidentiality, where data theft, for example, affects both individuals (eg. personal banking data) but also has a huge economic impact as a result of industrial espionage.

Integrity, or rather its loss, is most evident in the hijacking of websites by “hacktivists” seeking to deface content or replace it with political messages, but can also be associated with data, such as environmental monitoring, stock market trading or consumer price indices.

The Role of Distributed Ledgers in Securing Urban Infrastructure

A post by Dr Cathy Mulligan (Imperial College), Tony Kenyon (Guardtime) and Kacper Zylka (Imperial College).

Imperial College’s Blockchain research group (IC3RE) together with Guardtime have been investigating how distributed ledger technology – aka Blockchain – can be used to secure digitally-enabled critical infrastructure. Together they are providing an early warning system that embedded sensors have been compromised.

Cities around the globe are under increasing pressure to deliver high quality services to a growing number of citizens. Digital technology is being adopted – in what is sometimes called the ‘smart-city’ – to better manage assets, and deepen understanding of key services like waste, water, power and transport.