Published on 01/04/2021
  • Aston University joins cybersecurity initiative alongside Coventry University and TU Delft in the Netherlands
  • The project has been awarded over £100,000 by the UK Government
  • Findings promise to shed light on cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Aston University has joined a study by researchers in the Systems Security Group (SSG) of Coventry University's Institute for Future Transport and Cities (IFTC) to examine drivers of computer hardware security adoption among businesses and consumers.

Dr Muhammad Azmat, lecturer in logistics and supply chain management in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, is a co-investigator on the project, aiming to promote commercial adoption of secure technology by identifying supply chain risks and understanding why businesses choose not to implement Cybersecurity.

The research findings promise to shed light on technology manufacturers' cybersecurity vulnerabilities, enabling them to better address security gaps in future designs.

Last year, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Discribe (Digital Security by Design Social Science) Hub awarded the SSG more than £100,000 for the project. Discribe aims to broaden the deployment of cybersecurity technology and help protect economies worldwide against cyberattacks.

As co-investigator, Dr Muhammad Azmat will be supporting Professor Siraj Shaikh, director of research at IFTC and leader of the SSG, together with Dr Simon Parkin of TU Delft, the Netherlands' largest public technological University.

Dr Azmat said: "Cybersecurity is at the core of all revolutionary and connected innovations. Therefore, it is mandatory to evaluate its economic benefits and understand value chains from a consumer perspective for a secure hardware adaption. We at Aston University have aligned our goals with Discribe's objectives to deliver state of the art assessment on secure practices across consumer chains, map supply chain risks, and technology sensitivity dimensions based on lean, agile and leagile supply chains."

Professor Siraj Shaikh said: "IFTC is committed to Discribe's goal of mass adoption of Cybersecurity by technology providers. Digital security is vital to driving innovation in mobility and artificial intelligence (AI). We look forward to working to build public trust in these technologies to help ensure their widespread adoption."

Laith Altimime, President of SEMI Europe, added: "With hardware security critically important to semiconductor innovation, SEMI is pleased to partner with the SSG team on this initiative. The SSG cybersecurity project promises to arm the electronics value chain with best practices it can follow to strengthen the security of electronics."

Read more about the work of the Aston Institute of Urban Technology and the Environment (ASTUTE) and how our researchers are tackling urgent issues emerging around the future of city living.

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the University's academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian, and its full-time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. The University also has TEF Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework. 

About IFTC: The Institute for Future Transport and Cities develops pioneering mobility solutions. From accelerating the progression towards zero-carbon transport and developing inclusive design practices to ensuring the safe implementation of autonomous transport solutions, IFTC is central to solving global mobility challenges. IFTC works closely with industry to ensure that its research has real-world applications, maintaining close relationships with leading businesses within the transport sector.

About IFTC's Systems Security Group (SSG): The Group's core mission is to research and engineer secure and resilient cyber-physical systems for the automotive and transport industry, working in collaboration with partners in industry, academia and government. The SSG does this by detecting and modelling emerging threats, validating novel solutions for automotive security and resilience.



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