Published: 15 December 2020

Surrey Security Network successfully launched

Professor Steve Schneider, Director of the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, was joined by colleagues from our Department of Computer Science – and further afield – to launch a new initiative called Surrey Security Network (SSN)

“Security research has become much more interdisciplinary in the last decade,” says Steve. “Cyber security in particular now impacts on so many different areas of life and it needs an inter-disciplinary approach.

“The idea behind SNN is to bring together departments across the University and beyond who have research interests linked to security.

“Our intention with SSN is to create a wide-ranging community of researchers. We invited academics from across the University and we had a large uptake of interest from more than 90 people.

“That level of enthusiasm suggests we’ll be busy investigating a wide range of connected interests in 2021.”

Interdisciplinary approach

These are sentiments echoed by Professor David Sampson, our Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, whose speech launched the online gathering.

“Collaboration is one of the cornerstone values at Surrey,” added David. “Security, whether it concerns an individual, family, institution, community or nation, is a key concern of the modern world.

“But knowing robust security measures are in place to protect us is also a precursor that allows us to be open and transparent in our dealings with others.” 


To kickstart discussions around this area – and demonstrate just how varied the subject is – 18 participants gave three-minute summaries of their current areas of research.

Speakers included staff from our School of Law, Surrey Business School, Surrey Space Centre, 5G/6G Innovation Centre, Surrey Centre for Cyber Security and Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, plus our departments of Politics, Criminology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Topics discussed included web privacy and online harm, biometrics and facial recognition, online radicalisation, device network security, secure machine learning, satellite security and, in an explosive ending, creating buildings that can withstand bomb blasts.

Future projects 

“The event identified a number of areas where there are common interests from multiple departments as a basis for collaboration,” says Steve. “We aim to explore and grow these exciting opportunities over the coming year.

“This multidisciplinary agenda aligns with that of the National Cyber Security Centre, who we work closely with as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.”

Professor Graham Miller, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, added: “I’m delighted to see this initiative develop at Surrey and build on our multidisciplinary strengths.

“While the topic of security clearly has technical responses, it also has legal, political, economic, sociological, criminological and business answers, which demonstrate an exciting and fertile research area for the future.”

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