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“The lines between cyber and physical are being blurred as manufacturing, critical infrastructure, and national defense, along with commercial systems are all being interconnected,” said John Kusnierek, senior vice president for Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks Research and Technology. “It is absolutely imperative that our propulsion systems have the most advanced and effective cybersecurity available, and that we constantly innovate to stay ahead of the threats.”

In order to bridge this gap, the company has developed a new cybersecurity research consortium that will focus on enhancing product security for its propulsion and power systems. Within the framework of the Rolls-Royce Cybersecurity Technology Research Network, cybersecurity researchers at Purdue and Carnegie Mellon universities will conduct research funded by Rolls-Royce to strengthen the security of its products from both its commercial and defense platforms.

The first research project focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence for intrusion detection. While traditional AI requires significant computing resources, the new research is focused on developing AI approaches that can be utilized in resource-constrained embedded systems.

According to the company, there are multiple vulnerabilities due to the tremendous amount of connectivity, whether it is the Internet of Things, data, maintenance, or operations. “They’re complex connections, they have advantages in terms of performance, in terms of the environment, and a number of other important attributes. But these connections do open up a variety of risks for any system,” said Kusnierek.

While Rolls-Royce created this network, the company says it will be sharing the results of the research with the industry. 

“Having strong cybersecurity is not optional. All of our customers rely on us every day to innovate and defeat threats,” said Kusnierek. “Therefore, we must anticipate and defend against cybersecurity threats. Our products must be cyber resilient, and fully maintain the confidence of our customers,” according to