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Awards 2024

Capula employee achieves PhD for cyber security research from Lancaster University

Dr Ric Derbyshire, OT Cyber Security Engineer, Capula, has recently achieved a PhD – a leading international measure of excellence –for his independent research into cyber risk assessment practices.

The research, conducted at Lancaster University, focused on cyber risk assessment, cyber security attack techniques, and operational technology, culminating in a thesis titled Anticipating Adversary Cost: Bridging the Threat-Vulnerability Gap in Cyber Risk Assessment.

Drawing on his experience of working in penetration testing (ethical hacking) and cyber risk assessments, Ric’s research output is a framework to supplement cyber risk assessment which allow’s practitioners to practically calculate the likely costs experienced by an adversary in performing a cyber attack. Using probabilistic methods, the framework calculates both financial and time costs associated with conducting a cyber attack, as well as taking an adversary’s perceived risk into account.

Commenting on his achievement, Ric said: “I’m extremely proud of this achievement. It is a significant milestone in my career and reflective of my commitment and enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries of cyber security through research.

I’ve completed my research and eventual thesis against a backdrop of some significant personal and professional challenges, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, and so this outcome feels even more important to me”.

Capula Managing Director, Simon Coombs, said: “I’m so pleased to see Ric’s hard-work and commitment culminate in achieving his doctorate. At Capula we support our people to develop their capabilities and careers.

We are building an exceptional team of specialists in cyber, digital, automation and control; so that we can continue to support our critical national infrastructure clients in achieving their ambitions, such as the energy transition to low carbon”.

Ric is continuing his professional development by publishing further academic and industry focused research, as well as speaking at forthcoming industry leading events such as the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Cyber Security for Industrial Control Systems in September .