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Edinburgh Napier University and Satisnet open a cyber lab to help counter security threats for staff and students

Edinburgh Napier University and Satisnet open a cyber lab to help counter security threats for staff and students

Edinburgh Napier University and Satisnet open a cyber lab to help counter security threats for staff and students

A new cyber security centre that will help workers learn how to combat potentially crippling attacks has been launched at Edinburgh Napier University.

The facility at the university’s Cyber Academy will see both students and external IT workers taught to tackle scenarios like ransomware, denial of service attacks, insider threats and data loss.

A global ransomware attack last May affected more than 200,000 computers in at least 100 countries and led to nearly 20,000 cancelled NHS hospital appointments.

Napier’s launch comes ahead of new data protection rules coming into force in May under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These are designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data and will oblige businesses to protect data from misuse – or face fines ranging from 10 million euros to 4 per cent of the company's annual global turnover.

The Cyber Academy, based at the School of Computing on Napier’s Merchiston campus, has launched the Security Operation Centre Lab (SOCLAB) in collaboration with Luton-based IT Security company Satisnet.

“Our dream has always been to build training infrastructures which mimic the real-life IT environment in which we can run scenarios,” said Professor Bill Buchanan, who leads the Cyber Academy.

In recent years, the School of Computing has developed a range of systems simulating real-life IT infrastructures to allow students to learn about advanced methods such as malware analysis, penetration testing, cryptography and incident response in a safe environment.

Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry attended the launch alongside representatives from Satisnet, data security specialist Zonefox and IT consultancies Quorum and ECS .