The IT University of Copenhagen launches Center for Information Security and Trust

With the establishment of a multidisciplinary research center, the IT University aims to create a foundation for raising the level of IT security in Denmark so that it matches current and future cyber threats.

Carsten SchürmannBusiness IT DepartmentComputer Science DepartmentDigital Design DepartmentIT security

"If we want to continue to harvest the fruits of digitization in the next decade, IT security research needs to become a priority now. A future, effective cyber defense depends, among other things, on the creation of teaching and research capacity at Denmark’s universities. This is core if the political ambitions to increase digitization in the public and private sectors should be realized and ultimately benefit citizens, says associate professor Carsten Schürmann, who is heading the newly established Center for Information Security and Trust (CIST) at the IT University of Copenhagen.

The new center aims to be a central national focal point for education and research in IT security and will collaborate broadly with public and private companies as well as other national and international research institutions. One of the CIST's defining characteristics will be multi-disciplinarity. Although the center will be rooted in the Department of Computer Science, the steering group will consist of researchers of other academic disciplines. IT security is not just a technical problem that can solved in isolation without taking trust and ethics into account. Therefore, the Center will also work with e.g. the social, legal and philosophical aspects of IT security, both in education and research.

- Many of the IT security flaws arise from social engineering practises. For example, some IT systems are not designed appropriately and therefore they are used incorrectly. Hence, if we want to improve IT security, we cannot focus on the challenges solely from a computer science perspective. The IT University was born with a multidisciplinary DNA, and therefore it is obvious that we create an including environment where academics from various fields work as a joined force towards a future where IT systems, besides from being technologically accountable, works in the contexts for which they are intended, fit the legislation, are trusted by the users etc, says Carsten Schürmann.

The academic foundation of the center has been created over a number of years with extensive multidisciplinary research activities at the IT University. The head of the center, Carsten Schürmann, has been heading research projects on digitization of election processes, and he is regarded as one of the world's leading experts in the field, which is illustrated by his frequent appearance in both Danish and foreign media. In the field of education, the IT University has also built up a solid base for the new center; through the bachelor and master programs as well as courses for IT professionals in the field of security.

During the first half of 2019 the center will launch two new projects that will support Danish companies to upgrade IT security; CSSME Courses (Cyber Security courses for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and CIDI (Cybersecure IoT in Danish Industry). Both projects are funded by the Industriens Fond.

- The two new projects illustrate one of the CIST other characteristics, namely, that we will work extrovertly to ensure that the Danish society benefits from our research activities. After all, this is what we as universities are here for. Nevertheless, it is often neglected. At CIST, we will use research and theory as a foundation for the applied and education-oriented projects and activities that can directly influence the development of new IT systems and analyzes of the existing ones.

Carsten Schürmann expects the Centre's current research staff to be expanded continuously in the upcoming years. He also welcomes requests or questions related to IT security from both public and private companies.

Read more about the Center for Information Security and Trust Research on CIST.DK

Further information

Carsten Schürmann, Associate Professor, email

Jari Kickbusch, phone 7218 5304, email