Cyber Security for Safety Critical Systems (Cyber Defence)

The Glasgow Cyber Defence Group is an international leader in the cyber security of safety critical infrastructures, working with a broad range of academic, industrial and government partners. We have particular expertise in the security of cyber physical systems across the energy, healthcare, military and transport domains. The group hosts a number of cyber ranges/industrial and avionics platforms.

Theme Lead: Professor Chris Johnson

Glasgow CyberSafety Lab

The Glasgow CyberSafety Lab is unique in the UK and one of only 3 comparable facilities worldwide that focus on the cyber security of safety-critical infrastructures.   These systems are very different from more conventional, office-based applications.   You cannot isolate an air traffic control system leaving 50 aircraft on approach to a hub airport while you check for malware.


Track record - staff

  • Johnson - directs Glasgow's Cyber Defence Laboratory and undertakes research at the interface between safety and security.  He has held fellowships from NASA and the US Air Force and is a Scientific Advisor to the European Commission SESAR research programme on the modernisation of European Air Traffic Management.  
  • Khamis- undertakes research at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Security. His research focuses on understanding threats to user privacy that are caused/facilitated by ubiquitous technologies, such as thermal attacks and shoulder surfing (CHI'17, MUM'17, Interact '19), and (2) inventing novel ubiquitous systems for protecting user privacy and security on mobile devices (CHI'19, ICMI'17, MTI), public displays (IMWUT, ETRA '19, PerDis'17), and in VR (USEC'17). He is a PC member of ACM CHI, and the general chair of ACM PerDis '19.
  • Omoronyia - undertakes research centring on Secured Software Engineering with a focus on designing and implementing secure and privacy preserving software systems, as well as privacy and security requirements.
  • Pezaros - expertise in networked systems resilience through always-on monitoring and adaptive resource provisioning, and anomaly and intrusion detection for visualised, software-defined, and resource-constrained (IoT) networked infrastructures.
  • Vanderbauwhede - research with a focus on CyberSecurity of IOT devices and other smart devices, with the aim of making the design of hardware systems (in particular FPGAs) proof against errors and tampering, through the use of advanced type systems.   This research is the topic of Dr Vanderbauwhede's EPSRC project, Border Patrol,https://borderpatrol.github.io/, a 5-year, £1.8m project with Heriot-Watt and Imperial College.

Projects (active in the last 6 years)

  • Developing Pedagogy that Optimises Forensic Training in Safety Related Industrial Control Systems (National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Johnson, April 2019 to July 2020, £249k
  • Privacy Engineering for Software Designers (Innovate UK CyberSecurity Startup Accelerator Programme), Omoronyia, April - July 2019, £21k
  • Border Patrol: Improving Hardware Security through Type-Aware Systems Design (EPSRC EP/N028201/1), Vanderbauwhede, February 2017 - January 2022, £638k
  • Forecasting and Visualizing Safety and Security Concerns as a Consequence of Systems Changes in Air Traffic Management Networks (US Office of Naval Research), Johnson and Pezaros, September 2015 - September 2018, £192k
  • Engaging with Scotland's SMEs to improve security (Royal Academic of Engineering), Renaud, September2015 - August 2016, £30k
  • Cloud Security: Government clouds and incident reporting (European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)), Johnson, April to December 2013, £31k
  • Multisensory information presentation for automotive safety systems (Freescale Semiconductor UK Ltd), Brewster, October 2012 - March 2016, £24k