Ric at Holker IT secures PhD sponsored by Airbus

A young North West cyber specialist is on ‘cloud nine’ after the research project he is undertaking won backing from one of the world’s biggest companies.

Ric Derbyshire, Information Security Director at Burnley-based Holker IT, is among an elite group of PhD students at Lancaster University being sponsored by the Airbus Group in a united quest to provide the best possible protection against the escalating threat of computer ‘hacking’.

Ric, 27, former Chair of the NW Cyber Security Cluster, said: “Airbus are sponsoring the main research project in offensive security metrics, taking into account human elements and industrial control systems.

“The project is officially called ‘the cost of exploitation: socio-technical factors across varying degrees of attack complexity’ and forms a key element in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Industrial Case PhD at Lancaster University.

“The PhD will help ensure that Holker IT continues to prosper as one of the few firms in the region with a dedicated in-house cyber security department.

“No business is safe from the threat of cyber attack and it is imperative that owners and managers seek out the facts and act accordingly.

“My role as a penetration tester with Holker IT allows me to get out into the field, working with clients to illustrate the vulnerability that exists and to outline the solutions available.”

Matthew Metcalfe, Managing Director at Holker IT, said: “We are delighted that Ric has secured a PhD studentship sponsored by Airbus. It certainly underpins our firm belief that, in him, we have secured one of the brightest young brains in IT, not only in Lancashire, but across the North of England.”

Picture: Ric Derbyshire.