Current security incident response systems are largely knowledge-based, and this project seeks to advance the state-of-the-art by using a combination of AI-based modelling and simulation to predict both novel attack behaviours and suitable countermeasures. Particularly with the advent of AI-driven attacks, new, complex and adaptive patterns of malicious behaviour will require a rapid mitigative response, and automation is key in order to contain a threat before it spreads and causes significant disruption or damage.
The research conducted will produce tools and techniques that offer an organisation’s cyber security operations unique insight which will be used to both inform their security design, both in terms of static structure and capabilities deployed in the network (such as firewalls), as well as future dynamic capabilities (such as automated incident response systems). The capability would need to consider the risks imposed by certain threats, as well as the costs and risks associated with taking certain defensive actions in response. Initially, it would be used in an offline fashion, but later could be extended to act in real-time to dynamically counter threats, either autonomously or in a collaborative manner, by explaining actions and expected consequences to a human decision-maker.
The research will be supervised at the University of Bristol by Prof Trevor Martin (Intelligent Systems) and Dr Matthew Edwards (BCSG), and by Dr Alfie Beard from the Future Cyber Defence team in BT Applied Research (based near Ipswich). The successful candidate will be expected to spend some time working in close collaboration with the BT team.
PhD applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a Master degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Applicants without a Master qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of readiness to pursue a research degree.
This is a fully funded 4-year studentship providing a minimum £18,800 tax-free stipend per year, tuition fees at UK student rates
equipment and travel allowance to support research related activities.
Call for Events is now open! We're supporting Members and Expert Fellows to lead activities that explore aspects of TIPS in the Digital Economy. We will help to organise the activity with up to £5,000 to cover the associated costs.