NquiringMinds, TechWorks and the University of Oxford collaborate to launch The Secure Networking by Design (SNbD) project for the development of advanced, open source, network protections for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and router vendors.

Leaders in the UK deep tech arena: NquiringMinds, TechWorks and the University of Oxford, have today announced the official launch of The Secure Networking by Design (SNbD) project, pioneering a new age of digital security.

Driven by the increasing problem of cyber security, The Secure Networking by Design (SNbD) project acknowledges the importance of the router as illustrated in a recent industry report* that highlights they  account for over 75% of infected devices with infected routers posing greater threat than infected IOT devices or PCs. The SNbD project directly addresses this ‘hyper-scaling’ threat by combining recent advances in router security (ManySecured) built on a secure computing hardware platform (CHERI/Morello) to harden router and networking protections.

ManySecured and Morello provide a mighty combination to deliver security. Remote network attacks are dangerous and infectious. They present a security threat with a frightening ability to scale. Hardening this network interface right down to a fundamental silicon level, is an essential component of global security strategy. Our team is perfectly placed to realise this vision.

Nick Allott, CEO nquiringminds

Cyber security attacks are constantly evolving and cost the global economy billions of pounds per year. It is therefore essential that we respond to that challenge with systems and collaborations which can evolve as new threats emerge. SNdB is intended to do just that with advanced technology and the power of the open source community.

John Moor, COO, TechWorks

Digital Security by Design is undergoing translation from research to practice at scale. Our project will test the effectiveness of that paradigm shift and blaze a trail towards a security step-change for core network components.

Prof. Andrew Martin, University of Oxford

The ManySecured project is advancing router security by building secure networking elements designed from the ground up. By leveraging concepts of AI, the nquiringminds components not only help to detect and prevent attacks, but they also aim to self-heal against emerging security threats and vulnerabilities.

The ARM Morello program seeks to overcome weaknesses with memory safety protections found in traditional computing architectures which account for 70% of operating system vulnerabilities. It has an ambitious goal to radically update the security foundations of digital computing infrastructure which underpins the entire global economy.

By combining the secure router elements provided by ManySecured, with memory protection and secure compartmentalisation features of CHERI/Morello, SNbD will substantially improve the security offered by router technology.

The project aims to make a significant future impact on the security of routers by taking a modular approach, making individual, upgradeable software modules available across common operating systems. From the outset, SNbD is intended to be a self-sustaining, collaborative initiative, with a long-lasting legacy and will adopt an open-source style operation which accepts third party contributions.

The project, part of the Digital Security by Design challenge is funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), who’s aim is to enrich and expand the Digital Security by Design (DSbD) prior to the availability of commercial hardware.

About the partners:

nquiringminds Ltd is a British AI company that develops distributed data sharing and data analytics solutions. Founded in 2010 by AI and Cyber Security experts, it has deep expertise in AI/ML technologies complemented with an understanding of security that spans protocols design through to silicon implementation. Since that time, nquiringminds has been building secure data sharing solutions for Central Government, the Public Sector and Industrial Manufacturing and Agriculture.

TechWorksHub Ltd (TechWorks) is the leading deep tech industry association of the UK. It is a non-profit, industry association which operates a number of distinct, yet related, advanced technology communities spanning semiconductors, embedded systems, cyber security and automotive innovation. The five member communities within TechWorks include: AESIN Automotive Electronics Innovation, IoT Security Foundation, nmi Electronics Manufacturing, TechNES and Power Electronics UK. TechWorks mission is to strengthen the UK’s deep tech capabilities as a global leader of future technologies, forming adjacent connected communities that are influential in defining and shaping the advancements of industry. TechWorks provides a platform to help all members strategically leverage products and services to drive profitable growth. SNbD is driven by the IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF), established in 2015 with a mission to make it safe to connect by helping to secure the IoT.

Oxford University’s Department of Computer Science was established in 1957, making it one of the longest-established Computer Science departments in the country. It is one of the UK’s leading Computer Science Departments (ranked first in numerous international rankings). The Department has close links with government, industry, and other departments within the University: particularly relevant to this project is its leading role in “Cyber Security Oxford.” The University of Oxford aims to lead the world in research and education for the benefit of society both in the UK and globally. Oxford’s researchers engage with academic, commercial, and cultural partners across the world to stimulate high-quality research and enable innovation through a broad range of social, policy and economic impacts.


For all media enquiries and interview requests, please contact: Nicola Cutler, TechWorks on: nicola.cutler@techworks.org.uk or call: +44 7926 529772