The BRC has chosen a PhD student from Royal Holloway University as the winner of its annual Cyber Security Challenge.

The BRC launched the competition to find new ideas on how government, law enforcement and industry should work together to tackle the cyber security threats facing UK retailers.

The competition was open to any UK higher educational student and the judging panel consisted of a group of leading cyber security scholars, including: Professor Chris Hankin (Imperial College, London), Professor M. Angela Sasse FREng (UCL) and Dr Tim Stevens (King's College, London).

Andreas Haggman, currently studying for a PhD in cyber security and geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London, authored the winning paper and will receive a cash prize of £500 and the opportunity to present his work to the BRC's Fraud and Cyber Security Member Group.

“The BRC remains fully committed to supporting its members to meet their security and cyber-security needs, and works with cutting edge partners across the corporate and public sectors, as well as in academia, to do that,” said James Martin, crime and security adviser at the BRC. “The response to this competition was excellent, with the standard extremely high, and like the judges we think that the winning entries showed a combination of innovation and real-world problem solving.”

Dr Tim Stevens at King's College, London and member of the judging panel added: “Andreas’ winning essay balances excellent awareness of retail operations with the contemporary demands of cybersecurity. It offers a picture of key threats and how retailers factor them in to their relationships with customers. In its focus on point of sale interactions, and thinks about where future threats might arise and makes concrete recommendations for improving security thinking and practice. Overall, it offers sound advice for charting a way forward for retailers and their partners in law enforcement and government.”