Public Release: 

Queen's to plug cyber security gap

Queen's University Belfast

International experts in cyber security are at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), at Queen's University today (Thursday 13 March) for the fourth annual cyber security summit.

The two-day summit brings together the world's leading cyber security experts and government policy makers for a meeting of minds to combat future threats to global cyber security.

At the Summit Queen's will announce a new Masters in Cyber Security.

Professor John McCanny, CSIT Principal Investigator, said: "The success of the annual World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit is reflected by the fact that the biggest names in global cyber security are attending so together we can produce a roadmap for the technology needed to secure our digital tomorrow.

"At Queen's, we listen to the needs of industry and with an increasing demand for cyber security professionals, we are complementing our technology research centre by developing a Masters degree in Cyber Security to cater for that need. Queen's graduates have gone on to be industry leaders and we expect through this new Masters that the number of our graduates gaining significant roles in the world of cyber security will increase."

The new Masters, which will begin in September 2014, aims to develop the next generation of industry leaders and address the shortage of cyber security professionals globally. Currently, the demand for cyber security experts is growing at twelve times the rate of the overall job market.

Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mr Simon Hamilton MLA, said: "Today's conference at Queen's is an excellent opportunity to bring together top academic, industry and government cyber security experts, from over a dozen countries, to share their knowledge and to consider the cyber security challenges in the future.

"My Department is responsible for the information technology security for the whole of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and some other public sector bodies. It is vital that we are fully aware of and take the most appropriate steps to mitigate against the known risks, which are increasing in prevalence and scale across the globe. We use the best available technologies to provide resilient, secure systems, which enable us to carry out our daily work and to deliver public sector services more effectively."

Professor Maire O'Neill, who will deliver a keynote address at the Summit Cryptography in a post quantum computing world and is

Co-Ordinator of the MSc in Cyber Security, said: "The emphasis of the MSc is to provide graduates with a comprehensive understanding of the cyber security challenges facing industry and society, today and in the future, and equipping them with the skills necessary to address those challenges. The Summit is illustration of the need to identify, map out and ultimately combat the biggest threats to our online security."

PwC in Belfast operates a global forensics centre of excellence, advising organisations, multinational corporations and national governments on financial and non-financial investigations. Director for Forensic Technology at PwC, Craig McKeown, said: "The industry needs more qualified forensics professionals. Nearly half of CEOs worldwide say they are concerned about cybercrime and data fraud, with the UK's largest companies experiencing an almost daily attack on their computer systems. Tackling cybercrime needs more professionals and this new Masters at Queen's will help deliver them."

Attendees at this year's Summit include representatives from Facebook, Intel, Sophos, IBM, US Department of Homeland Security, Korea Information and Security Agency, Estonian Information System's Authority and McAfee.


Media inquiries to Claire O'Callaghan, Queen's University Communications Office, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5391 email:

Notes to Editors:

Professor Maire O'Neill and Stephen Wray from CSIT are available for interview. Interview bids to Claire O'Callaghan, Queen's Communications Office, on or 44 (0)28 9097 5391

Dr Douglas Maughan from the US Department of Homeland Security, Mark Crosbie from Facebook and other delegates are available for interview. Interview bids to Claire O'Callaghan, Queen's Communications Office.

The Summit takes place on 13 and 14 March 2014. For further information visit:

For further information on the MSC in Cyber Security visit:

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