Northern Ireland

Queen's University's Centre for Secure Information Technologies wins award

CSIT
Image caption Queen's University's Centre for Secure Information Technologies been awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for further and higher education

Queen's University's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), which researches cyber security, has been given a major academic honour.

It has been awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for further and higher education.

The prizes, organised by the Royal Anniversary Trust, are presented every two years by the Queen to honour outstanding academic work.

They are part of the UK's national honours system.

The award for CSIT was announced at St James' Palace in London on Thursday, and the prize will be formally presented at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February.

CSIT is based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

With about 90 staff, it is one of the UK's largest cyber security research centres, and develops cyber security technology to prevent online fraud, improve financial transaction safety and anti-virus programmes.

CSIT also runs a number of courses for postgraduates in online security.

'Strong and resilient'

Queen's University's vice-chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston welcomed the award and said cyber security was now a major global challenge.

"The need for strong and resilient cyber security technologies has never been greater," he said.

"CSIT is home to some of the world's foremost cyber security experts."

"It is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of efforts to protect the UK from cyber attacks and to maintain the public's trust that their online privacy and data is kept safe."

News of the award comes two days after the Chancellor George Osborne warned that Islamic State militants are trying to develop the ability to launch deadly cyber-attacks on UK targets such as air traffic control or hospitals.

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