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Improving trust in the online world

WCIT competition for MA, MSc, MBA and LLM postgraduate level students at City University London

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) is sponsoring a competition for all interested masters-level candidates to submit dissertations involving on-line trust. The competition will be hosted by the Cyber Security Challenge. Students interested in registering their intention to enter the completion have until July 31 2013 to do so at the Cyber Security Challenge website.


Background to the competition

While the 'City of London' is a global shop window for over a million jobs in the financial services sector issues of trust and confidence go well beyond financial services. Society is now critically dependant on the functioning of complex computer systems, from the generation, processing and distribution of power, food and water to health and welfare. There are a rapidly growing number of education and research programmes to advance skills and knowledge in relevant areas of technology and personal behaviour. In an effort to cross-link these issues and factors, the WCIT Livery Company is therefore working with the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing, the Cyber Security Challenge, the Digital Policy Alliance and others to organise a series of competitions for students who have worked on dissertations related to trust in the on-line world. 

Aims of the competition

  • To improve academic relations with employers (from financial services and on-line retailers through communications to safety critical,  infrastructure and security service providers)
  • To harvest interdisciplinary ideas that can be used to rebuild confidence in the on-line world and in the UK as a supplier and location of choice for globally trusted services; Rebuilding trust requires action along many dimensions: from enhancing the ethical standards and competence of organisations, institutions and individuals to facilitating the use of trustworthy processes, products and services for handling identity, authentication and certainty of delivery.


The plan for the WCIT competition is to put potential employers (banking, finance, on-line retail and critical infrastructure utilities as well as technology and security suppliers) in touch with interested universities to identify and support students (including Business, Law, Sociology, Engineering as well as Computer Science and Information Security) whose dissertations contain ideas that may help make lasting improvements.   Two to three entrants from each of the participating universities will be invited to present to a national final where the prizes will include publicity for the supporting employers as well as the winning students and their universities. The intention is therefore to organise a pilot in 2013 and build on success over the next two years to reach full scale in 2016 when, hopefully, the recovery is under way. The pilot, targeted at Masters' Students, is being organised as a Gold Stream within the Cyber Security Challenge with the aim of cross-fertilising support, at the same time as reducing cost and risk. The overall impact of the competition will be judged by the following benchmarks:

  • Enhanced university-Industry partnerships leading to apprenticeships, internships and jobs;
  •  Ideas that enhance UK/EU competitiveness as locations for globally trusted operations;
  •  Participants and supporters achieving their objectives (including corporate social responsibility and publicity) and willing to work together build on success in years two and three.


Already agreed support for the pilot has come from a variety of sources, including: ASIS, BCS, DSTL, Get Safe Online, Identrust, ISACA and the following Universities: University of Bedfordshire, City University London, Cranfield University, De Montfort University, Greenwich University, University of Kent, London Metropolitan University, London School of Economics, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, St Andrews University and Strathclyde University.
For further information on the WCIT competition for MA, MSc, MBA and LLM postgraduate level students at City University London, please visit the Cyber Security Challenge website.