ISCF Digital Security by Design (DSbD) – Business led Demonstrators
Phase 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI) – Briefing Event Video
Digital Security by Design (DSbD) has launched an up to £6 million two-phase competition for UK businesses and academia to collaborate on digital security by design business-led demonstrators.
The objective of this competition is to enable 2 or 3 consortia to develop a demonstration of a product and/or service in which DSbD technologies will be used to evaluate the impacts of a DSbD enabled secure solution in a vertical industry segment or in applications that may cut across several vertical industry segments.
Phase 1 is an Expression of Interest (EOI) that will be followed by Phase 2 in which short-listed consortia will be invited to prepare and submit a full project proposal.
The competition is now live on Innovate UK’s live competitions webpage and can be accessed here.
Prior to your EOI we recommend having a look at the following video recordings to familiarise yourselves with DSbD technologies across hardware and software developments.
- Introduction to CHERI and natural links to Morello – Robert Watson, University of Cambridge
- Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) deep-dive / CheriBSD operating system – Robert Watson, University of Cambridge
- Introduction to Morello and deliverables – focus on the capabilities of the Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) – Mark Inskip, Arm
About the DSbD Programme
The DSbD programme is producing technologies that have the potential to create a step-change in addressing security from the central hardware up across the software stack of digital systems. In pursuit of this transformative goal, DSbD takes an integrated approach by addressing separate levels of the hardware and software value chain, stretching from cutting-edge technology development, ecosystem enablement, industrial deployment and market demonstration.
More funding is going into cutting-edge research and development to boost the security of tomorrow’s technologies and prevent damaging cyber security attacks.
UK Research and Innovation has awarded over £700,000 of funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) for the progression of radically updating the foundation of the insecure digital computing infrastructure. Something that underpins the entire economy.
The funding, awarded through the Digital Security by Design (DSbD) programme, supports UK small businesses. It provides them with the opportunity to assess how Arm’s technology platform prototype, Morello project, can add value to their product and service development. It will also help the next generation by accelerating the digital transformation of industry.
The impact and outcomes of these projects will enable the growth of the software ecosystem that will be crucial for the successful adoption of DSbD technologies.
This comes as new figures show the UK’s growing cyber security industry attracted record investment last year despite the global pandemic, according to a new government report.
The following are 10 UK small and medium enterprises who have been awarded funding for the following projects.
- a feasibility study of a data security software product adopting Digital Security by Design (DSbD) technology: ANZEN Technology Systems Limited, London
- a TEE-aware compartmentalisation framework based on DSbD: Verifoxx, London
- assessing the viability of an open source DSbD desktop software ecosystem: Capabilities Limited, Carmarthenshire, Wales
- CHERI standards compliance (CHERI Stone): DRISQ Ltd, Worcestershire
- data path development kit: Pytilia Limited, Northern Ireland
- multi-compartment computation protocol based on DSbD: MindHug LTD, Stowmarket, Suffolk.
- porting edge AI workflows to CHERI/Morello: OXON.Tech Ltd, Oxfordshire
- quantum-resistant DSbD security leveraging MicroTokenisation: Valid Datum Limited, London
- SecurlOT: IOETEC Limited, Sheffield
- trusted ring security for Morello Devices: Metrarc Limited, Colchester and Canterbury.
Next phase of demonstrators call
DSbD has recently secured additional funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), to fund additional demonstrator projects. This is through a £6M competition to enable businesses to investigate and understand the benefits from adopting DSbD technologies within their industrial sector.
This competition follows on from the first phase demonstrator call, in which the THG Holdings plc led consortium was awarded £5.8M. This was to deliver the Soteria demonstrator project that investigates the impact of the new DSbD technologies in eCommerce.
This new demonstrator call will close on 26 May 2021.
This new competition is expected to fund up to three consortia to investigate additional industrial sectors.
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, said:
We are working hand in glove with our world-class cyber security sector to build back better from the pandemic and make sure the UK is the safest place to be online.
Thanks to government support these projects can create pioneering and secure technologies that will give people and businesses further confidence in our digital economy and help combat cyber criminals.
Professor John Goodacre, Challenge Director for Digital Security by Design Challenge Director, said:
DSbD technologies are not just another best practice recommendation, or a new AI tool to monitor your network and endpoints, they bring enhancements to the central hardware and software of a computer and create a step change in how business develop and use secure products and services. It is exciting to see these companies investigating how these technologies can benefit their business and products and further enhance the cyber security of living and working in the UK.”
Demonstrator to work with Arm’s technology
£5.8 million has been awarded to a consortium led by global technology platform company, THG Holdings plc (THG), working with The University of Manchester and the University of Oxford.
The partnership will develop a crucial demonstration element to work with, leading technology firm, Arm’s platform prototype, ‘Morello’ project, that was previously awarded UKRI funding.
This demonstrator will test the benefits of DSbD technology, to improve the security of e-commerce and enable the increased productivity and development of future world-leading services and products.
£2.8 million of the funding will be invested by THG into recruitment and specialist equipment for the research, with the remainder distributed to the partner universities.
Bridging the gap between security and society
A new £3.5 million research collaboration at the University of Bath called DiScriBe has also been funded. This research hub will focus on the social science side of digital security, bridging the gap between security engineering challenges and the businesses and people who will implement them.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has provided £1.2 million, with the remaining £2.3 million funded from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Digital Security by Design challenge.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:
These projects are great examples of our world-class universities working with leading UK businesses to develop cutting-edge cyber security products to keep people safe online.
We are making extra funding available to make sure we continue developing innovative cyber solutions, give consumers and industry confidence and boost our burgeoning digital economy.
Digital Security by Design Challenge Director, Professor John Goodacre said:
The significance of these two important awards is the momentum they will provide to the whole programme of work planned.
The Soteria project led by THG takes a leader’s position in this undertaking and will provide a crucial demonstration of the security benefits DSbD Technology can bring to the increasingly critical e-commerce industry.
ESRC Executive Chair Professor Jennifer Rubin said:
The DiScriBe Hub+ award will enable advancement of digital security through a combined approach that includes understanding and addressing the economic and social factors that can otherwise frustrate technical solutions.
By ensuring that economic and social researchers and engineers can work closely together, we will be able to support researchers and businesses in overcoming the data theft and cyber-attacks that are a significant global risk.
A spokesperson for THG said:
It is an honour to have secured this significant grant and to be collaborating with leading universities on this important project.
We are looking forward to THG’s world-class technical and research teams applying their findings to the cutting edge of UK and global digital security.
Digital security for our brands, customers and clients is at the heart of what we do, and we are leading the way in pioneering new ideas and technology within this space.
The outcome of this project will ultimately benefit online security, and it is hugely exciting to be part of such a ground-breaking initiative.”
Professor Adam Joinson from the University of Bath, said:
Addressing the cybersecurity challenges we face now – as well as anticipating those we might face in the future – is a major undertaking that needs deep engagement and collaboration between social scientists and technical experts.
This is a ground-breaking initiative that will be instrumental in facilitating this, as well as conducting our own fundamental research on the adoption of new secure hardware.
We will also be commissioning over £1 million of social science research to support the wider digital security by design challenge and working closely with industrial partners to ensure that digital security by design works with people, as well as at a technical level.
The Soteria project
£5.8 million was awarded to THG, and the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.
The project is a cyber security demonstrator for the e-commerce industrial market.
It will seek to understand how future Arm hardware, as represented by the Morello platform, could improve the security of its business and enable the development of new cyber security services and products.
The project has the potential to improve the security of a large share of the software that a society we have come to rely upon.
The benefits of Soteria are directly focused on reducing the impact of security breaches and attacks, and the costs required to secure digital businesses and services.
The societal impacts are improved public perception to the benefits of technology, and less disruption to the daily activities of individuals in society due to security incidents, and service outages across public, government, and paid for digital services.
By bringing a social science perspective, the DiScriBe Hub+ will help to unleash the transformational potential that the hardware innovations within Digital Security by Design makes possible.
By combining world-leading research with challenge fellows from across the social sciences, expert working groups, innovative approaches to networking and to industry-facing commissioning, the DiScriBe Hub+ will not only address the challenges faced by the ISCF Digital Security by Design initiative, but will fundamentally reshape the ways in which social sciences and STEM disciplines work together to address the challenges of digital security by design in the 21st Century.