Biometric security centre could enhance UK standards

22 November 2012

Posted by Samuel Couratin

A new research facility launched in the UK has received funding from the Government to explore ways in which biometric technology could be used to enhance online security.

The centre at the University of Southampton is dedicated to examining ways of improving safeguards in areas such as the nation's power infrastructure, banking and finance, and border security.

Vladimiro Sassoni, Cyber Security Centre of Excellence Director, told the BBC: "Attempts to tear down national infrastructures of entire countries are actually happening."

Professor Mark Nixon explained that nation's such as Japan are considerably further ahead of the UK when it comes to adopting biometric technology, adding it takes a while before people become comfortable with new innovations.

Experts at the University of Southampton facility plan to build on existing knowledge in the field of biometrics, with a new tunnel constructed at the lab in order to look at how various factors such as gait could be used to determine identity.

A total of eight universities in the UK were awarded Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research status by GCHQ, the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in order to boost the nation's knowledge base and increase innovation in the field.

Each institution will receive additional funding options, £50,000 in capital investment, closer collaboration opportunities, partnership endorsement and the chance to feed into the national cyber security research agenda.

"We want to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business, by investing in the best expertise to keep pace with technological change," Cyber Security Minister Francis Maude declared.

The Centres of Excellence are expected to benefit the UK by boosting cyber knowledge, delivering graduates in the security sector, supporting cyber defence efforts by GCHQ and pushing up innovation in the field.

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