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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Congratulations to Professor Jon Crowcroft, Dr Tim Jones and Dr Theo Markettos. Their research projects are among those jointly awarded £7.9m funding to help develop a software ecosystem for a more secure digital future.

The funding was awarded as part of the UK government's Digital Security by Design (DSbD) initiative.

Last year, 46% of UK businesses reported cyber-attacks or breaches. The DSbD programme is working with industry, academia and government to implement a step change in digital security. It is re-thinking how computers run software and are built to be inherently more secure from cyber-attacks. This could save the British economy billions.

Through the DSbD programme Arm, working with researchers on the CHERI project in this Department and with other industry leaders, has recently created a new technology platform prototype known as the Morello board. It is now being rolled out for widescale industrial testing.

This new hardware technology is expected to prevent around 70% of ongoing vulnerabilities from exploitation, while providing new capabilities for software to deliver a much safer and more secure digital world.

Now 10 more research projects have been funded to help develop a software ecosystem to ensure that the security benefits of the prototype will enable the broader market adoption once the technology is commercially available. The projects are based at institutions and companies across the UK.

Here in Cambridge, Jon Crowcroft (right) is leading a project on 'Cloud attestables on Morello boards', to expand DSbD technologies by developing secure execution environments called 'attestables'. They will be suited to exfiltration sensitive applications without relying on the long-term burden of trust on the hardware manufacturer.

Meanwhile Tim Jones and Theo Markettos are working on 'Chrompartments: hybrid compartmentalisation for web browsers'. This project, led by King's College London, is on enhancing the security of modern web-browsers, focusing on Google Chrome, by developing and evaluating DSbD enabled finer-grained compartmentalisation.

Read about all 10 of the new research projects on the UK Research and Innovation website here. 

Published by Rachel Gardner on Thursday 24th February 2022