Keeping our data safe

Posted by pt91 at Mar 23, 2018 11:40 AM |
Expert in Earth Observation Science to highlight vital role of cybersecurity to business leaders at GREAT Festival

Issued by University of Leicester on 23 March 2018

Photographs of Professor Paul Monks available to download at:

The shape of the next generation of data-driven technologies will depend upon how we address concerns about the security and integrity of data today, a University of Leicester scientist will argue at the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong.

The future will see a surge in data-based services, from personalised mobile apps to traffic management and more, and with it will come concerns about data security and use of personal information. We could see significant developments in technology that affect our health, work, environment and more fueled by ever more creative ways of using data – but limited by our ability to use reliable data securely.

The University of Leicester’s Professor Paul Monks will argue that some of the most exciting developments in technology will rely on keeping the data that organisations use accessible - but that will also mean ensuring that it is safe.

He will be speaking at the ‘Global Warning’ panel discussion at the GREAT Festival of Innovation on 24 March in Hong Kong, attended by business and education leaders from across Asia.

Our growing dependency on cyber- and space-based services and satellite technology does not come without economic, societal and security risks. Universities are meeting skills shortages and focusing on the requirements of industry and commerce to drive innovation forward. As a result, they are helping boardrooms mitigate these risks and keep crucial infrastructures safe.

Much of the University of Leicester’s data science work is based around artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, from the fundamentals through to the application in medicine, defence and environmental science.

Professor Paul Monks is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, and a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth Observation Science. His research has encompassed air pollution monitoring, the environmental impacts of fracking, and even developing a way to 'sniff' the ripeness of fruit.

He said: “We face the data deluge.  Much of the challenge has become getting information from different data modalities, while at the same time protecting personal information. How do we keep data open and extract value?

“Data security is key element of satellite communications and operations. Satellites and their data are pervasive in our lives and will underpin the next generation of personalised location based services.

“There is a need also to keep the integrity of the data. Given the volumes, data security can be a real challenge and overhead in this arena. For us to continue taking advantage of the possibilities it offers, we need to take steps to ensure that data is maintained and reliable.

“Open, free and safe data are the cornerstones of a data-enabled future.”

The University of Leicester’s leading role in space research and technologies will be represented at the GREAT Festival of Innovation from 21 - 24 March in Hong Kong organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade. Space science researcher and aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber will join representatives of the University in talking about some of the latest exciting developments to come from space science and space-enabled technologies. The GREAT Festival of Innovation will explore how innovation impacts the way we LIVE, WORK, PLAY and LEARN with an impressive line-up of thought leaders and entrepreneurs from business, education, culture, media, technology.

Internationally renowned for its world-leading research in space science, technology, engineering and Earth observation, Leicester will join other UK universities in showcasing how leading sectors are collaborating with these unique engines of innovation to gain a competitive edge, strategically linking higher education, research and business to help create tomorrow.

Professor Monks said: “This is a chance to engage with the global community around these issues and look to develop links to drive innovation in this sector.”

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “We have a bold vision for enterprise built upon collaboration. With a whole range of novel ways of engaging with our research and expertise, there has never been a better time for businesses to work with the University of Leicester. We are tackling global challenges and transforming lives through our research, innovation and new technologies. And we want to enable businesses to drive the innovation and skills needed to grow the UK and world economies. We are eager to hear what exciting plans ambitious businesses have for working with us.“


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