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The Future of Cyber Security
Professor Bebo White, Professor Tim Spiller, Professor Fred Piper, Colin Williams, IET

The Future of Cyber Security


Wheelchair accessible.

Event details

University of York

Institution of Engineering and Technology

Rory Cellan Jones in conversation with Professor Bebo White.  Professor White was a member of the team at CERN who posted the world's first website and is regarded as America's first Webmaster. He will discuss the astonishing naievete of the early internet pioneers and the unforseen consequences of the explosion of the internet. 

Followed by a panel discussion with: 

  • Professor Bebo White, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University
  • Professor Tim Spiller, University of York
  • Professor Fred Piper, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Colin Williams, SBL, University of Warwick and De Montfort University
  • Nicholas Swift, Security Executive for Accenture

Chair: Rory Cellan Jones , BBC News Technology Correspondent

Speaker biographies

Rory Cellan-Jones is the BBC News technology correspondent.

Bebo White is a Departmental Associate (Emeritus) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the basic energy science and high-energy physics laboratory operated by Stanford University. Prior to retirement he worked at SLAC as a Computational Physicist and Senior Computing Information Systems Analyst. He is also a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Professor of Integrated Systems Management at the University of San Francisco.

While his initial responsibilities at SLAC were in computational physics, in recent years Professor White's work has been dominated by his involvement with World Wide Web technology. He first became involved with WWW development while on sabbatical at CERN in 1989 and was instrumental in establishing the first non-European Web site at SLAC in 1991.

Professor White has lectured and spoken internationally to academic and commercial audiences. He is the author of eight books and over one hundred journal/proceedings articles. His current research interests are Web Science, Social Media in Education, and Cloud Computing.

Professor Tim Spiller is Professor of Quantum Information Technologies at the University of York. His research has a common thread of quantum physics running throughout.

At the fundamental end, he works on underpinning aspects of quantum information theory and quantum computation and on the foundations of quantum physics. He has a particular interest in the crossover between quantum and classical phenomena, open quantum systems and macroscopic quantum effects.

At the application end, he works to apply my fundamental and implementation research to new quantum technologies, with particular focus on technologies that require only modest quantum resources yet still offer benefits over their existing conventional technology counterparts. Examples include quantum communication and quantum metrology and sensing.

Professor Fred Piper was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University of London in 1975 and has worked in information security since 1979. In 1985, he formed a company, Codes & Ciphers Ltd, which offers consultancy advice in all aspects of information security. He has acted as a consultant to over 80 companies including a number of financial institutions and major industrial companies in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and the USA.

He has lectured worldwide on information security, both academically and commercially, and has published more than 100 papers.

Fred has been a member of a number of DTI advisory groups. He has also served on a number of Foresight Crime Prevention Panels and task forces concerned with fraud control, security and privacy. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for Bletchley Park and the Board of the Institute of Information Security professionals. He is also a member of (ISC)2's European Advisory Board, the steering group of the DTI's Cyber Security KTN, ISSA's advisory panel and the BCS's Information Security Forum.

Professor Colin Williams is an active operator in the international cyber security community with twenty years of experience in enterprise IT, Information Assurance and cyber security.

As a director of SBL, he develops and leads the business development strategy of a wholly UK owned and controlled market leading provider of vendor independent cyber security solutions to central government, blue light services and the wider public sector.  Professor Williams was a member of the founding cohort of CLAS consultants.  He has been involved in initiating and delivering some of the largest software volume licence public sector procurement projects in the world.

As an academic, he is developing a body of work around the human, intellectual, cultural, societal and historical context of computing which he is delivering across a series of lectures, seminars and papers.  He is an honorary fellow of the WMG Cyber Security Centre at the University of Warwick and a visiting professor at De Montfort University.   

Professor Williams consults and speaks on cyber, cyber security and strategic enterprise IT procurement in the UK and internationally.  He is editor in chief of “CyberTalk” and new journal for the promotion and development of fresh and interdisciplinary thinking about cyber and the human relationships with computers.

His forthcoming book “The Children of Colossus: Computing from Bletchley to the Cold War, and Beyond” deals with the formation of the, initial, foundational relationships between computers, humans and society in the context of, first total, and then cold, war.      

Nicholas Swift is a Security Executive for Accenture. He has over 15 years’ experience in Cyber Security, having been one of the co-discoverers of Cross-Site Scripting in the late '90s.

He has spent much of his time working with embedded systems ranging from smart cards to complex defence electronics, conducting research in cyber security and promoting cyber security research within the European Union through ADS (UK Trade Association for Aerospace, Defence and Security) and ASD (Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).

Nick is currently supporting clients engaged in smart systems.



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