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More research in cybersecurity

Published: 1 July 2022

As society becomes more digital, threats to the IT systems we build also increase. Luleå University of Technology wants to contribute with competence and more solutions to these societal challenges and will invest more in the research field of cyber security.

– The university already has education and research in Information Security and Cyber Security, this is a natural step to further strengthen these areas, says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.

– A new research subject means new recruitments of researchers and teachers and it provides good opportunities for collaboration both within and outside the university. This is important since knowledge and experience in the area of Cyber Security is central to more and more organisations and industries.

Internet risks

More and more devises are connected to the internet. At home, both the car and the washing machine are connected, in the rest of society everything from shops' checkout systems and the factory's production lines to critical infrastructures such as electricity and water systems. Technology development is rapid and the high rate of digitalisation often means vulnerable systems and the number of cyber attacks on companies and authorities is increasing. Some attacks aim to disrupt services or destroy information, others aim to control a system or collect sensitive information.

In order to intensify its research in this subject area, Luleå University of Technology is starting a new research subject, Cyber Security. The research focus will be on methods for protecting different types of systems that are connected to the Internet. These systems can range from small sensors that send data over the Internet to large-scale control systems for society's energy supply as well as associated systems for data storage and data processing.

– We must think about security around all our systems, from physical access to physical objects with information and communication technology to our back-end systems, says Christer Åhlund, Professor of Pervasive and Mobile Computing.

– Ill-minded people can reach these systems from anywhere in the world, they can turn off electricity grids, lock municipal system functiond, and disrupt production systems in factories and steal information that can be harmful to individuals and society.

Important collaboration

Luleå University of Technology already runs Centre for Critical Infrastructure and Societal Security. Within the framework of that The Centre of Excellence, the university has created important collaborations with authorities and companies in the region.

– The digital infrastructure has become a crucial part of a functioning welfare, at the same time as there is a great lack of the skills required to protect it from attacks. For Skellefteå municipality, the collaboration with the academy has been a success factor to increase our adaptability and cyber security has become an increasingly important area, says Michael Carlberg Lax, strategic digitalization manager at Skellefteå municipality.

Contact

Christer Åhlund

Christer Åhlund, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)910 585331
Organisation: Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering