Offering an arsenal of techniques to provide effective protection against the increasing cyber threat, cryptography is an integral part of many of our research projects.


With outstanding expertise in this field, we focus on advanced techniques and applications such as high-function encryption schemes and digital signatures, authentication and key exchange protocols, and cryptographic solutions for privacy-preserving identity management, secure data sharing and information exchange.


Global authority on cryptography

Our Centre’s research into hardware security and cryptography is led by Professor Liqun Chen, previously principal research scientist in the Security and Manageability Laboratory at Hewlett Packard Labs. Professor Chen has invented or co-invented cryptographic solutions which have been incorporated into international standards and used in applications millions of people use every day.

Having been instrumental in developing the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) – a hardware chip that ensures security by integrating cryptographic keys and algorithms in devices – Professor Chen is currently focused on helping to develop a Quantum-Resistant TPM and researching other aspects of post-quantum cryptography.

Professor Chen serves as a UK expert on the development of international standards for cryptographic mechanisms (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 Working Group 2). In addition to reviewing a range of this working group’s ISO/IEC standards, she directly serves as:

  • Editor of ISO/IEC 11770-7, IT Security technology – Key management – Part 7: Cross-domain password-based authenticated key exchange
  • Co-editor of ISO/IEC 20008-3, IT Security technology – Anonymous digital signatures – part 3: Mechanisms using multiple public keys

Professor Chen is also involved in the British Standard Institutes IST/33-2 sub-committee, serving as its vice chairman. This committee makes the UK’s contributions to ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27/WG 2.

Read more about the Future TPM project.

Student projects

Our PhD students are conducting an important body of research in the field of cryptography, with a number sponsored by external companies and government. Two students are collaborating with ObjectTech – a company aimed at delivering ‘seamless travel’ through airports, borders and events – to explore lattice-based cryptography for blockchain applications, making them more secure against future technological advances.

Other student projects are focused on post-quantum cryptography research, developing algorithms resistant to attacks by quantum computers which will be required by Trusted Platform Modules in the future.