Published on 01/03/2022
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CSI centre Anitha Chinnaswamy (L) and Vladlena Benson (R)
  • EY Government and Public Sector Cyber Security team and the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston University won £180,000 in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Experts will work with the UK Government to find appropriate opportunities for investment in cyber security
  • The research will map blind spots within the UK’s regional security innovation systems.

Cyber security experts at Aston University will work with the Government to support its national cyber security strategy by mapping blind spots in the UK’s regional cyber security systems.

The Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston University will work with EY Cyber Security Consulting on the £180,000 project for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to research and map the UK cyber security ecosystem.

The project will consider the current environment, conditions and interventions that exist to influence or affect companies providing cyber security products, services or solutions to support and contribute to the development and growth of cyber security businesses in the UK.

The aims of this research are to provide the DCMS with robust evidence of a region-by-region picture of where public, private, academic and industry support mechanisms are in place and to identify service and geographical gaps in their provision.

It comes after the CSI Centre helped launch the UK government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 in Birmingham at a special event last December, for which Aston University professor of cybersecurity management, Vladlena Benson, was an instrumental member of the organising committee.

The current project will enable the strategy implementation to support the UK Government’s ambition to grow innovation and academic research in cyber.

Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy, lecturer in cyber security management at the CSI Centre at Aston Business School, says:

“From the datasets collected that includes different cyber security businesses, incubators, accelerators, clusters, academic centres of excellence and other different mechanisms from across the UK, analysis will be conducted to provide a region-by-region basis of practices involved.

“The mapping of the cyber security landscape will also enable the enhancement of skills and diversity across the cyber security sector.

“The diversity in cyber security market lags other digital sectors, with the cyber workforce consisting of only 15% females, 16% ethnic minority backgrounds and 9% neurodivergent. The results of this project will be an important contribution for the government to foster the growth of a sustainable, innovative, and internationally competitive cyber and information security sector.”

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. Saskia Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s 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.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)74469 10063 or email:

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