Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS)


Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS)


KirCCS organises internal and external facing events on campus from time to time. The biggest events we run are annual public engagement events, which normally run over summer but in 2018 it will take place on 5th December 2018 (see below).

Public Engagement Event 2018

Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) at the University of Kent, a UK government recognised ACE-CSR (Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research), will organise its first Public Engagement Event on campus on Wednesday 5th December 2018 from 1-6pm.

Tentative Programme

13:00-14:30Arrival, buffet lunch, posters, demos
14:30-15:30Opening talks
  • Prof Karen Cox, the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University
  • Prof Philippe De Wilde, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation of the University
  • Prof Shujun Li, Director of Kent ACE-CSR
15:30-17:00Invited talks given by external speakers from government, industry and academia
17:00-17:30Q&A and wrap-up
17:30-closeDrink reception and networking

Invited Talks

From Government

SpeakerDr Natasha Grayson (Head of the Cyber Policy Hub, The Home Office)
TitleCyber Security and Cyber Crime; The Home Office View
Short Bio

Natasha leads the Cyber Security policy Hub for the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT). The Hub is responsible for developing national security cyber policy as it sits within the Home Office as well as linking the Home Office with cross cutting cyber policy development and engagement across government and with external partners. The Hub is particularly focused on understanding cyber threats and vulnerabilities and their impact; on citizens, organisational structures and public security. The hub supports the Home Secretary in his role as government lead in the event of a large scale cyber incident and, as such, is working to align exercising and incident management to cyber incidents. An emerging area of responsibility is ensuring that capability development to address cyber threats and opportunities across Home Office interests is better aligned. Science and Technology research and innovation will be key to that.

Before joining the Home Office, Natasha worked at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), first for the Police Chief Information Officer and then leading on the 2010 Home Secretary commissioned review of police leadership and training. Natasha was then seconded to the Home Office to implement the recommendations of the HMIC review into the August 2011 disorders. Natasha formally joined OSCT in December 2012, working on open source intelligence and providing strategic input to bring together police digital transformation programmes across the Law Enforcement and National Security landscape.

Natasha completed her undergraduate degree in History and Politics at the University of York. Her PhD, completed at Keele University, examined violent and non-violent protest and resistance in the Irish War of Independence. She has just completed an Executive Masters in Public Policy at the London School of Economics.

From Industry

SpeakerStuart Jubb (Managing Director, Crossword Cybersecurity plc)
TitleThe realities of spinning out and starting up new ventures
Short Bio

Stuart is part of the leadership team of Crossword Cybersecurity, the technology transfer company focussed solely on Cybersecurity. Stuart joined Crossword in 2016 from KPMG where he was Associate Director, Defence & Security. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of a global consulting team of over 200 in KPMG Advisory. Stuart spent nine years as an officer in HM Forces, after Sandhurst, serving in Afghanistan, NATO and elsewhere.

From Academia

SpeakerDr Emiliano De Cristofaro (Associate Professor, University College London)
TitlePrivacy and Machine Learning: It's Complicated

In this talk, we will cover our recent work at the intersection of privacy and machine learning. First, we show how to efficiently support simple unsupervised learning applications that rely on users' data, without invading their privacy. We do so by combining data structures for succinct data representation (such as count-min sketches) with additively homomorphic encryption, showing that the error loss introduce by the sketches does not affect the accuracy of the model.

Then, we turn to generative models -- which are increasingly more often used to artificially generate plausible samples of various kinds of data, including images, videos, texts, and music. We present a novel technique for privately releasing generative models and entire high-dimensional datasets produced by these models, showing that our techniques provide realistic synthetic samples which can also be used to accurately compute arbitrary number of counting queries.

Finally, we analyze privacy in the context of collaborative/federated learning: these allow multiple participants, each with his own training dataset, to build a joint model by training local models and periodically exchanging model parameters or gradient updates. We demonstrate that these updates leak unintended information about the participants' training data, presenting both well-known "membership inference" attacks as well as "property inference" ones where the adversary can infer properties that hold only for a subset of the training data and are independent of the properties that the joint model aims to capture.

Short Bio

Emiliano De Cristofaro is an Associate Professor ("Reader" until recently) in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL)'s Computer Science Department, where he heads the Information Security Research Group. He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute (ATI), the national institute for data science and AI. Before joining UCL in 2013, he was a research scientist at Xerox PARC. He received a summa-cum-laude Laurea degree in Computer Science from the University of Salerno, Italy (2005), then, in 2011, a PhD in Networked Systems from the University of California, Irvine, advised by Gene Tsudik. His dissertation, titled "Sharing Sensitive Information with Privacy" can be found at During his PhD, he also spent a few months on research internships at NEC in Heidelberg (2008), INRIA in Grenoble (2009), and Nokia in Lausanne (2010).

Overall, he does research in security and privacy enhancing technologies. These days he works on understanding and countering security issues via measurement studies and data-driven analysis, as well as tackling problems at the intersection of machine learning and security/privacy.

More about the speaker can be found at his personal website


Keynes Atrium and KLT1
Keynes College
University of Kent
Canterbury CT2 7NP
United Kingdom
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The registration is free for both internal and external participants. Please register here.

Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS), University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 16/11/2018