Strengthening our cybersecurity competency

Cybersecurity is vital to life at Oxford. To protect Oxford’s unique place in the world the University constantly develops cybersecurity measures to protect its information and people from data breaches, identity theft, and other types of cybercrime. That’s why a new cybersecurity competency training course has been welcomed by the first cohort of 25 delegates from across collegiate Oxford.  

The internationally recognised British Computing Society (BCS) Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) is being made available by the University’s new Cybersecurity Competency Centre, a part of Oxford’s digital transformation programme.  


“Safeguarding the University’s uniqueness, information security, and privacy is a daily priority for everyone connected with Oxford. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, over two-dozen academic institutions worldwide have faced serious cyber incidents. Investing in our people’s ability to protect Oxford’s cybersecurity is one of the greatest force multipliers in the reducing the risk of, or harm from, cyber-attacks.” 

Graham Ingram, Chief Information Security Officer and Cybersecurity Competency Centre lead

Cybersecurity competency  

The Cybersecurity Competency Centre, is being introduced to give people across the University new skills, resources, and support to keep their division, department, or college safe against cyber-attacks. 

The intensive 5-day training course covers everything from the principles of information security and how to balance risk against the intensity of security controls, through to technical understanding of how to implement those controls, including planning for disaster recovery and business continuity management in the event of a cyberattack. 


“I’d say this has been a great investment of time to develop skills in this important area and to get a professional qualification too. It’s helpful to see which procedures and documents we need to update to become even more cyber-secure. And it’s free for departments so that makes it even more attractive.”

Ed Rendel, IT manager from History

The first cohort of professionals on Oxford's Cybersecurity Training, pictured with Professor Anne Trefethen, Pro Vice Chancellor of People and Digital

The first cohort of professionals on Oxford's Cybersecurity Training, pictured with Professor Anne Trefethen, Pro Vice Chancellor of People and Digital and senior responsible officer for digital transformation


Community and engagement  

As part of wider initiatives, the cybersecurity competency centre team will partner with the InfoSec department to help deliver roadshows, open-house, and drop-in clinics to help HODs, HAFs, and their teams to understand what support is available and how they can play their individual part in protecting their research and practices.  

Inspired by Professional Services Together, the team is also creating a community of practice for cybersecurity professionals where they can grow and share their skills across Oxford.    

Alwyn Collinson, Oxford’s new head of competency centres, thanked all the delegates for their time and commitment to the course,

“Competency centres will bring new capabilities and expertise open to everyone across the collegiate University. It's been fantastic to start off by getting colleagues from across the University into one room, and to hear their enthusiasm about joining the Competency Centre community. They've shared some brilliant suggestions about tailoring a version of this course for HAFs and other decision-makers, as well as what better information security can mean for all of us.”   

Forthcoming activities   

The team will be running another certification course for professional staff later this academic year, with two more planned for next year.  

There will also be a series of less time-intensive introductory courses for non-IT staff and others who want to be part of this growing cybersecurity community. 


There will be a further collection of more technical courses for those who wish to go even deeper into the world of incident response and cyber investigations. Alongside this, the cybersecurity centre team will also be creating a ‘cyber task force’ team of colleagues from across Oxford who can work together quickly in the event of an incident.  

Tom Anstey, IT manager at St Hilda’s College, reinforced the importance of the course for everyone

“I would encourage everyone, not just IT people, to know about this course. Cybersecurity is an ongoing journey and we’re always trying to stay one step ahead, so I’d say this sort of development is about being less insecure!”   


  • If you’d like to attend a course, please complete this short form to register your interest.  
  • For more information about Oxford’s new competency centres, please contact Alwyn Collinson.  
  • And read more about Oxford’s digital transformation journey.