Academic Startup Accelerator Programme helps develop a diverse range of cybersecurity projects to protect individuals and organisations.

From the way we operate our household devices to the sophisticated global transactions that allow for international trade and communication, cybersecurity is, and will continue to be, pivotal to our ever-expanding reliance on digital technology. As Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, put it “Cybersecurity is at the heart of the [UK] government’s approach to digital technology, and plays a critical role in ensuring people and businesses can benefit from the huge opportunities of technology*”.

Therefore it’s vital to develop new products and services that meet and anticipate the growing potential cyber risk. That is where CyberASAP comes in, helping take great cybersecurity ideas born in academic labs out into the commercial world.

In the first of a series of two articles, we spotlight seven of the 14 projects that have made it through to the final stage of this year’s CyberASAP where the academic teams will develop their ideas into a Proof of Concept, showcased to investors and industry at a Demo Day in February. 

Authentibility Pass – Bournemouth University

At a glance: Application for people with disabilities to communicate authentication/accessibility requirements to organisations. 

Project profile: People with disabilities (15% of the worldwide population and 14 million people in the UK) can encounter barriers due to web security and privacy technologies, potentially preventing them from purchasing goods or registering for services. Authentibility Pass will be an innovative solution enabling customers to enter their requirements into a smartphone app which can be stored in secure organisational databases. Adopting Authentibility Pass will assist organisations to comply with accessibility and equality regulations, as well as facilitating awareness of the requirements of customers with disabilities when interacting with organisations. For more information on this project please contact us

SenseiChain – University of Essex

At a Glance: Redefining the future of Blockchains through secure real-time data analytics.  

Project Profile: The blockchain market is showing a CAGR of 80.2%, with more and more businesses highlighting privacy concerns in blockchains. SenseiChain is a highly secure patent-pending technology that provides Secure Blockchain Analytics as a Service (SBAaaS), enabling the monitoring and analytics of encrypted blockchain transactions in real-time.  SenseiChain offers both revolutionary analytics capabilities over encrypted blockchain transactions and superior levels of scalability, providing improved security and privacy, reduced network latency and enhanced efficiency. SenseiChain technology is currently being patented and will benefit different verticals including defence organizations, law enforcement agencies, banking sector, IoT, healthcare domains and e-commerce sectors. For more information on this project please contact us

Privacy-preserving Machine Learning as a Service – Imperial College London

At a Glance Unrivalled value from sensitive data silos with mathematically guaranteed privacy. 

Project Profile: Built by data scientists, for data scientists, Shoji is a privacy-preserving platform which enables the joint analysis of distributed datasets belonging to multiple parties. For each party, their data remains securely on-premises, while differential privacy mathematically guarantees personally identifying information is never exposed. Data silos can be broken down, allowing controlled access to vast amounts of data, creating an opportunity for companies to innovate ahead of competitors while protecting customer data to build trust. For some, augmenting and enriching existing data unlocks new possibilities for data-driven decision making and actionable insight discovery. For others, licensing the private use of their data creates new revenue streams and freedom to collaborate. For more information on this project please contact us

MaCRA (Software Tooling for Maritime Cyber Risk Assessment) – University of Plymouth

At a Glance: Dynamic, Multi-Dimensional Risk Assessment for Holistic Appraisal of Maritime Specific Operations. 

Project Profile: High-value maritime cyber attacks occur on a weekly basis on shipping platforms with a complex mix of both IT and OT. MaCRA generates a new risk profile for a specific operation if any parameter in the system is changed. Crucially this will look at the ship’s system, the cargo and the route. By applying known issues for the last two factors against the vulnerabilities known for the system MaCRA can produce a more informed risk assessment looking at both IT and OT aspects. Profiles generated will inform operators exactly where mitigation efforts should be applied, taking in areas including technical fixes and training. For more information on this project please contact us

A Tamper Guard and Intrusion Monitor using Zenneck Electromagnetic Surface-waves – Bristol University

At a Glance: Making surfaces that identify, verify and protect themselves. 

Project Profile: SurfaceRF is a spin-out from the University of Bristol specialising in making tamper detecting enclosures. The technology determines the unique physical fingerprint of a surface using a patented form of 2-dimensional radar which travels only over the enclosure surface. This is monitored digitally and contact, modification or damage to that surface changes the fingerprint and triggers an alert. Items protected by SurfaceRF technology are made physically and digitally verifiable, providing an extra layer of covert security capable of pinpointing when an unwanted physical intrusion has taken place. For example, a microdata centre in a hospital or finance office may be vulnerable to physical access. Our system can identify any attempt to access the hardware containing confidential information. For more information on this project please contact us

Artificial Behaviour-Based Authentication for IoT (ABBA-IoT) – University of Leeds

At a Glance: Data tampering detection system for automotive sensors. 

Project Profile: To develop an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that monitors sensors on a vehicle for signs of cyber-attacks. Modern vehicles are equipped with hundreds of sensors that keep road users safe.  Detecting attacks on them is a necessary step before any attack mitigation steps can be taken; it is also indispensable for forensics analysis to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities that cause a risk to road users. Our approach is built on an algorithm developed at the University of Leeds called “Artificial Behaviour Based Authentication” – ABBA which detects data tampering by generating a complex pattern in the communication network that would be disrupted by the actions of an attacker. It is based on chaotic processes that are synchronised between devices to allow the detection of sensor spoofing or data injection on the vehicle’s network and provides a practical advantage over alternatives. Additionally, ABBA is a “fully-on-board” system, meaning that vehicles would not require connection to a remote server to remain safe. For more information on this project please contact us

Lupovis: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – University of Strathclyde

At a Glance: Lupovis provides AI-driven deception solutions to detect threats and automate incident response. 

Project Profile: Lupovis, a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, provisions agile deception environments that enhance cyber protection frameworks. Lupovis’ services and tools create active deception-based environments enabling early threat detection with attacker characterisation, informing on the most effective countermeasure to arrest insider threats, ransomware and stolen credentials. Advanced Machine Learning software manipulates attackers, luring their path away from the valuable assets whilst gathering information on the skills levels, resulting in enhanced operational (business) continuity for critical infrastructure organisations and a more granular incident response. For more information on this project please contact us

 

Find out more about CyberASAP

CyberASAP is in its fourth year and is designed to help academic teams commercialise their cybersecurity ideas. Funded by the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), CyberASAP is delivered by KTN in partnership with Innovate UK

The programme is led by KTN’s Emma Fadlon and Robin Kennedy – whose extensive network of expert mentors and collaborators also contribute to the programme – and has resulted in the development of over 14 start-up and spin-out companies since it began in 2016.

Find out more about CyberASAP here.


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Foreword to recent Policy Paper on Cyber Security in Smart Consumer products.

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