Surrey Centre for Cyber Security


The exponential growth of computer technology has revolutionised the way we do business, organise our lives and interact socially – but has also brought new and ever-growing challenges in terms of security.

SCCS applies formal modelling to create methods and techniques which ensure the safety of computer systems. The Centre’s work focuses on six main research themes – Security Through Hardware, Trusted Computing, Privacy and Authentication, Secure Communications, Multimedia Security and Forensics, and Human Factors – building on the University’s strengths and the expertise of the Centre’s members.

Research being conducted by the Centre is bringing impact to individuals, industry and society in areas including democracy, finance, future internet, health, law enforcement, automotive and rail.

Security Through Hardware

Software-based security is too easily compromised, so we need to design and use secure hardware to make systems more secure. In SCCS, we are working to design hardware-based security mechanisms that are provably secure and practically applicable.

Trusted Computing

Trusted Computing is a rapidly expanding area of research for SCCS. Drawing on a breadth of expertise, we embrace a ‘security by design’ principle, embedding security into the fabric of the systems we build rather than an ‘add-on’.

Privacy and Authentication

Modern web and mobile computing technologies, combined with changing paradigms in cloud computing, seamless mobility and social media computing, mean we need new protection mechanisms for securing huge amounts of data while, at the same time, protecting the privacy of individuals and organisations.

Secure Communications

With the seamless integration of embedded devices into the global communication network infrastructure (the Internet of Things) and ultra-high speed mobile and wireless connectivity on the horizon, future communication systems need to incorporate novel protection mechanisms to ensure security, reliability, and adequate fault tolerance.

Multimedia Security and Forensics

SCCS is leading research into multimedia security and digital forensics, helping to develop technical solutions to tackle cybercrimes such as online grooming and digital piracy. Our academics collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies such as Surrey Police, National Crime Agency, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and other government bodies in this field.

Human Factors

Understanding human behaviour is key to solving cyber security challenges. As the UK Cyber Security Strategy (Cabinet Office 2011) states, “Ordinary people have an important role to play in keeping cyberspace as a safe place to do business and live our lives”. Work on Human Factors, therefore, runs across all the research themes being tackled by SCCS.

Student Research

In addition to its local PhD student cohort, SCCS is also actively encouraging students (UG and MSc) of taught programme at Surrey and visiting students from other universities including overseas institutes to conduct research work under supervision of selected SCCS core members. This is not necessarily limited to physical visits at Surrey, but also remote collaborative research.

View a separate page listing current research opportunities at SCCS for UG/MSc students and visiting MSc/PhD students.