Belfast based software consultancy firm Pytilia were selected as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) ‘Digital Security by Design’ (DSbD) competition to deliver technologies that will improve software defences against cyber vulnerabilities.
UKRI’s Digital Security by Design Challenge invests in projects that can help the UK’s digital computing infrastructure become more secure by design. A total of £700k funding was awarded to 10 UK based small to medium size businesses who each focused on a different project. The DSbD initiative builds on research from the University of Cambridge and ARM.
Pytilia secured DSbD funding to investigate the use of prototype secure hardware in key IT infrastructure and was the only company from Northern Ireland selected to participate in the challenge. In collaboration with the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) based at Queen’s University Belfast, Pytilia successfully demonstrated that the new hardware can be used to increase the protection of network traffic and prevent the misuse of incoming network packets.
Prof. John Goodacre, Director of the DSbD programme, said, “Providing early visibility to SME such as Pytilia both validates the applicability of the secure by design approach. It also provides UK businesses the insights to benefit from offering more secure products and services. It bodes well for the security of our digital world in that Pytilia has been able to show that DSbD technologies are able to block software vulnerabilities from exploitation in the highly complex and high-performance application such as packet processing”.
Tim Silversides, CEO, Pytilia, commented: “The DSbD project was an excellent opportunity for collaboration between academia and industry to provide innovative solutions to address cyber vulnerabilities. I’m delighted that Pytilia’s solution will improve robustness and performance of that infrastructure through the use of innovative secure hardware.”
James Grant, Senior Engineer, CSIT, commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project with Pytilia. It was an excellent opportunity to expand my technical expertise using CheriBSD, the operating system developed by University of Cambridge, as well as consider ways to integrate the most effective cyber solutions at the initial product design stage.”
UKRI has recently launched a new funding call where UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £8 million for projects to work on the development of the digital security by design software ecosystem. Applications close on 8th December 2021.