How Cyber Security Research Defends Our Critical Infrastructures

The year 2014 saw the biggest cyber bank robbery in history – a Hollywood-style scheme, as researchers described it – which resulted in an estimated total of 1 billion dollars being stolen from more than 100 banks across 30 countries. The financial sector, however, is just one of the networks in the scope of cyber criminals – their targets range from individual citizens and corporations to systemic elements such as energy and telecommunications infrastructures or city administrations. With digital networks connecting every aspect of contemporary society, it is becoming obvious that the security of personal data, commerce, production, or power plants, is linked inseparably with the security of the corresponding IT systems. To retain control, cybersecurity research is studying attack patterns, developing new defence mechanisms and educating citizens, industry and policymakers about safety measures. Sadie Creese is Professor of Cybersecurity and Director of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre at the University of Oxford. Besides her role in leading and managing large international research programmes, her interests lie in the prediction of cyber risks, visual analytics of attacks and personal privacy in the face of big data. At the Falling Walls Conference Sadie explains why we need to be more aware of our role as digital citizens in order to create a safe and sustainable cyberspace for the future.