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MRes KESS2 Scholarship: Threat Intelligence for Industrial Process Control Systems in CNI

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Here is an exciting opportunity to study a system and its associated technology which could lead to entirely new approaches in Command and Control Systems. The selected candidate will apply their skills and ambition to construction of an advanced prototype system that can perform The Application of Pattern of Life Analysis to the Problem of Early Intrusion and Threat Detection and Classification. This project will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of networking and command and control research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The project will focus on validating the feasibility of conducting command and control over a SCADA system via a 5G network. This will be achieved via the construction of an advanced prototype system.

This project is backed by THALES is a large multi-national national company with locations in Wales and the UK. Thales is a company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and CNI/security markets. Recently THALES has created the National Digital Evaluation Centre (NDEC) in Wales. The goal of the NDEC is to function as a research and development platform through which technology can be demonstrated and transferred to a wide community. The R&D problem domain and themes for the NDEC are as follows:

· Critical National Infrastructure Protection (CNIP). This will include SCADA systems such as road and rail, as well as power generation and distribution.

· Critical Systems Design. This will include how to reduce complexity – decompose systems – how to measure security & build security into critical partitions.

· Proactive Cyber Defence (PCD). This will include data analytics for resilience/maintainability and computer/digital-systems forensics. In particular this area will focus upon mitigation strategies for evolving cyber threats.

· Autonomy and Industrial IOT. This will include novel systems for threat intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Programme of Research

Current practice in Threat Intelligence focuses upon the analysis of open-source data feed such as Twitter and data mining on the Dark Web. The is a significant research challenge relating to data fusion of multi-factor and form data via the application of artificial intelligence techniques to provide predictive analysis and generate early warning indicators.

The project seeks to develop and validate a Threat Intelligence Model for Industrial Process Control Systems in CNI. In particular, the aims of this project are as follows:

· To develop a Threat Intelligence Model for CNI

· To validate that model through a series of case studies relating to Industrial Process Control Systems in CNI.

· Derive operational data sets from Thales reference systems

· Analyse and fuse multiple sources of data to develop a methodology and service process:

o Predict likely targets and vulnerabilities as well as the probability of success, impact and severity;
o Generate early warning of incipient attacks;
o Produce intelligence feed of latent vulnerabilities;
o Produce intelligence feed of mitigation strategies.

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time MRes programme and pay a stipend of circa £11.5k p.a. There is also around £3k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance. The position is available from 1st January 2020 or April 2020

Eligibility of Student

To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must: · have a home address in East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration. · have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship. · be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines. · satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

Funding Notes

This is a funded MRes, including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

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