Digital trust and security

Given our increasing dependence on digital technology, the issue of whether we can trust the systems we use and the people we interact with has become critical.

Nicholas Lord

Theme lead

Professor Nicholas Lord

Scope of theme

Digital Trust and Security underpins a broad range of societal challenges and is profoundly multidisciplinary.

It encompasses the security and resilience of the underlying technology, work practices and processes, law and regulation, human behaviour, social norms and context.

Regulation, governance and standards, more traditional security concerns, such as cryptography, access control and verification to the societal and sociological concerns that emerge from big-data analytics, intrusion, cloud computing and the internet of things.

An apt starting point might be to clarify what cyber security is intended to achieve. For instance, taking the objectives of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy (defending systems, data and services, deterring hostile actors and developing capability) as a starting point highlights a set of research areas of potential relevance.

The University of Manchester's Centre for Digital Trust and Society was created to act as an access point to the University’s expertise in digital trust and security, and facilitate interactions between researchers and problem holders, and will deliver sustainable support for the wider community.

The Centre leads and delivers activity for the digital trust and security theme within the University’s Digital Futures platform.

Levels of analysis

Valuable research on digital security spans several different levels of analysis, from individuals to the international community.

Researchers working at any one or more of these levels can help shed light on or provide a different perspective on what digital security means in their particular context.

  • individuals (such as citizens, as employees, as members of different generational/identity groups);
  • communities (such as local/regional networks, cities, identity groups);
  • organisations/sectors (such as critical national infrastructure, SMEs, manufacturing industry, healthcare, financial, third sector, tech, education);
  • government (such as local, regional, national);
  • international partners and communities (such as EU, NATO, UN).

Research clusters

We've established five key research clusters:

  • privacy, trust, data protection;
  • cybercrime, criminals, victims;
  • workplace security;
  • computer science and security.
  • advanced mathematics.