About (Phase 2)2018-05-16T12:40:24+00:00

RITICS is a portal to cutting-edge UK research into the cyber security of cyber-physical, critical systems.

The programme is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

About critical systems

Critical systems are those that provide critical services, such as transport, energy, water and telecommunications. Underpinning services, such as high-value manufacturing, are also considered critical systems.

These critical systems can be described as being cyber-physical, in that they contain networked computers which can control physical parameters.

This opens them up to cyber security threats, which can have physical consequences.

RITICS aims to answer the following questions:

  1. Do we understand the harm that threats pose to the provision of critical systems?
  2. Can we confidently articulate these threats as risk to delivery of critical systems at a business and national level?
  3. Are there novel effective and efficient interventions for business or governments to reduce the risks to critical systems?
  4. How can we best understand and compare both the effectiveness and costs of potential interventions? This includes technical interventions, such as altering system architecture, through to policy interventions by governments and regulators?
  5. How can we best detect intrusion in critical systems, including embedded and bespoke systems, and how should incident response differ to established practices for enterprise IT?
  6. What are the obstacles to (perceived) best practice being applied to critical systems?

The RITICS vision

  • Research: RITICS will carry out research which advances knowledge in research areas identified as having the greatest potential to transform the academic state-of-the-art and user practice.
  • Engagement: RITICS will provide a focus for liaison with stakeholders from the NCSC, other parts of government and business.
  • Impact: Outputs of RITICS research will be disseminated and promoted and, where appropriate, applied, to improve cyber security of cyber-physical systems and critical infrastructure in the UK as a whole.


RITICS was founded in 2014 as one of three cyber security Institutes set up by the UK Government in conjunction with EPRSC. Its early focus was to improve cyber security of Industrial Control Systems. Read more about Phase 1 of RITICS here. RITICS was renewed and relaunched in spring 2018, with funding for a further 5 years, now sponsored by the NCSC in partnership with EPSRC.

RITICS is coordinated by the Institute for Security Science and Technology, Imperial College London.