Bill Buchanan

bill buchanan

Prof Bill Buchanan



Bill Buchanan OBE is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, a Fellow of the BCS and a Principal Fellow of the HEA. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cyber security. In 2018 he received an “Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange” at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. One of his most recent achievements is the creation of a Blockpass Identify Lab and which is one of the first of its type in the world, and has significant industry funding.

Currently he leads the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks, and Security at Edinburgh Napier University, The Cyber Academy ( and the Blockpass ID Lab. His main research focus is around information sharing, IoT, e-Health, threat analysis, cryptography, and triage within digital forensics. This has led to several World-wide patents, and in three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox (; Symphonic Software (; and Cyan Forensics (

Bill regularly appears on TV and radio related to computer security, and has given expert evidence to both the Scottish and UK Parliaments. He has been named as one of the Top 100 people for Technology in Scotland for in every year from 2012 onwards. Bill was also included in the FutureScot "Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World". Recently his work on Secret Shares received “Innovation of the Year” at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, for a research project which involves splitting data into secret shares, and can then be distributed across a public Cloud-based infrastructure. He was included in the JISC Top 50 Higher Education Social Media Influencers. In 2018, he was included in the Top 10 academics for Blockchain with a UK Government report, in the Top 100 for cryptography, world-wide, and within the Top 5 technology influencers in the UK.

His current work focuses on the secret share methods, and especially in how documents can be stored securely in public cloud-based systems. The current cryptography work around secret shares has won several awards, and is the basis for new funded work. This is further enhanced with work around sticky policies and identity-based encryption, and which aims to integrate access rights on document within public cloud systems. This includes the storage of high risk documents, such as health care records and financial information. Along with this he has new research work which integrates machine learning into insider threat detection, and within side channel analysis on embedded systems.

Bill’s work around information sharing models for trust and governance, which was funded through two EPSRC grants, is now showing significant impact with the integration of over 7,000 health and social care entities within London, and which will be able to share information in a secure and trusted way.
Bill has one of the most extensive academic sites in the World, and is involved in many areas of novel research and teaching in computing. He has published over 27 academic books, and over 200 academic research papers, along with several awards for excellence in knowledge transfer, and for teaching, such as winning at the I ♥ my Tutor Awards (Student voted), Edinburgh Napier University, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2019, and has supervised many award winning student projects.

He has been an external examiner at many universities, and is currently an external examiner at Royal Holloway (University of London). Also with this he has been involved in many PhD completions and many external PhD examinations (including recent ones in Newcastle, Liverpool, and Dublin). He is part of many editorial boards for conferences and reviews in a wide range of journals.

He has led many innovations in teaching related to Cyber Security, including with the DFET Cloud Training project and leads the Scottish EU Centre of Excellence for Law Enforcement Training within the 2Center Network, along with being part of the setup of SIPR (Scottish Institute for Police Research). He currently leads on a range of training projects with Police Scotland and a range of industry partners.
Presently he is working with a range of industrial/domain partners, including with the Scottish Police, the finance sector, and many large and small companies. . Over the past three years he has received direct funding of over £4million related to computer security, which has had a major impact on an international basis. All of the spin-outs build on patented technology.

His recent work includes a €500,000 project which aims to build an advanced training infrastructure for Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. Previous projects have included collaboration of TSB Grants with Microsoft plc on a £2million project which aimed to improve the care of the elderly using Trusted Cloud-based services, and with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on a next generation Health Care platform. This also matches up with other funded projects with the FSA and the Scottish Police.

He has created many innovations in teaching related to computer security, including being sole author on (Cisco Simulators), and (one of the most extensive computer security sites for academic material in the World) and in creating DFET (an innovative Cloud training infrastructure for security and digital forensics training).

His lectures are online at, with over 800 on-line lectures, and which has around 7,000 subscribers, with more than four million minutes watched. Along with this he created one of the most extensive on-line environments for schools in Scotland, and which has over 120K registered users ( and over one million test questions taken.




Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Professor Presents Evidence to Investigatory Powers Bill Select Committee


Conference Activity

  • 2i Testing and Farrpoint to co-host Cyber Risk Symposium
  • SICSA SCONE Event hosted by the CDCS group
  • Symposium in Security and Cybercrime
  • Symposium on Security and Cybercrime is a major success
  • Symposium on Security and Cybercrime
  • Leading Harvard Researcher to Present at the Future of e-Health Event
  • We Want To Build A Better World ... And You're Part of It!
  • Workshop on Next Generation Patient-Centric Systems
  • Crypto Conference Goes Quantum around High Performance Computing
  • University organises a major security event for industry
  • University to Host Major Cloud Conference (Scot-Cloud)
  • International Conference of Big Data in Cyber Security 10 May 2016, Craiglockhart
  • Cloud Security Congress Event to cover Cybercrime in the Cloud
  • New Year Cyber Security Symposium aims to showcase opportunties in the Cyber Age
  • New Year Cyber Symposium Announced


Editorial Activity

  • Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief of High-impact Cyber Security Journal for World-leading research
  • Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief for New - High Impact - Journal of Cyber Security Technology
  • Security and Network Forensics book hot off the press


Fellowships and Awards

  • Award of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • Spin-out Company are Finalists in the Global Cyber Challenge event
  • Steve Cordiner awarded an Honorary Doctorate
  • Bright Red Publishing Collaboration receives Highly Commended Award for Interface's Innovation of the Year
  • Bright Red Publishing and Edinburgh Napier University finalists for Innovation of the Year
  • Research team finalists in BCS/Computing Technology Excellence Award
  • Research group win "Highly Commended" Innovation Award for e-Health Platform
  • Research team launches Scottish Cyber/Cipher Student of the Year Award
  • Professor Makes It Onto Top 50 List of UK Higher Education Social Media Influencers
  • Professor Makes It Onto The Tech 100 in Scotland
  • Prof John Howie awarded an Honorary Doctorate
  • School of Computing becomes Academic Partner for Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP)
  • PhD Student (Owen Lo) awarded Lumison Prize (£1,000) at the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award 2010
  • Owen Lo (our new PhD student) is a finalist for the Young Software Engineer of the Year.
  • Jamie Graves is up for Young Innovator of the Year at the John Logiebaird Awards.
  • Mat Miehling wins best final year PhD presention at Faculity Conference
  • Major New Research Project in Triage for the Detection of Digital Contraband
  • Three PhD Computing Graduations at Summer Ceromany
  • Edinburgh Napier Team Wins University Cipher Cracking Award
  • Edinburgh Napier MSc student wins Scottish Cipher Excellence 2011 Award
  • Digital Forensics Research Wins Principal’s Research Excellence Award for Information Society
  • Edinburgh Napier University shortlisted in Prospects Postgraduate Awards 2014
  • Edinburgh Napier University has gained GCHQ certification for MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
  • Cyber Security Teaching Team is a Finalist for Best Teaching Teaching in Postgraduate Awards
  • University Cyber Security Spin-out (Zonefox) Raises Another £650,000 in Investment
  • University aims to attract the finest Cyber minds to its GCHQ certified MSc
  • Cryptography Research Work Wins Innovation of the Year at Principal’s Research Excellence Awards
  • Cryptography Research Work Awarded Innovation of the Year
  • IIDI spin-out Inquisitive Systems Ltd wins place in Academic Enterprise Awards Final
  • IIDI Professor launches Scottish Cipher Excellence Award 2011
  • IIDI Research team up for IET Innovation Award
  • IIDI Professor is a finalist for an award for outstanding leadership in ICT
  • University Spin-out Finalist in European Spin-out Award
  • Cloud4Health wins 2nd prize for Best IT Project at Digital Innovation Awards
  • Cloud4Health is a finalist at the Scottish Digital Technology Awards 2012
  • Charley Celice wins Edinburgh Napier Student of the Year
  • Guardian Toolkit project through to the final round of the Convergence Challenge
  • ENU Student wins in World-wide Capture The Flag competition
  • Ex-Napier Research Graduate wins 2010 Edinburgh Napier Alumnus of the Year
  • Frank Greig wins award for Most Innovative Practice at Edinburgh Napier University
  • Collaboration with Bright Red Publishing shortlisted for Innovation of the Year award
  • Code cracking students best in Britain


Invited Speaker

  • Bill Buchanan gives keynote at health care event for the Cloud-based e-Health Platform
  • Reseach Group to present the Innovative e-Health Platform at a health care event
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give invited talk at ARAB Health 2012
  • Professor Bill Buchanan invited to present at the Data Handling in Health and Social Care conference
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give a keynote talk at CFET 2011
  • Professor to Present Session Keynote at CAS Scotland Annual Conference 2015 on Bright Red Digital Zone
  • Professor to give end note talk at Cyber event
  • Professor to give opening keynote at Cyber Security Conference on the future of The Cyber Academy
  • Professor to give keynote on the Complete Anatomy of Heartbleed, TrueCrypt and Large-scale Vulnerabilities at Security Conference
  • Professor to deliver Cyber Skills Keynote at Computing, ICT and Digital Media Conference
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give invited end-note presentation on Cloud in the Public Sector at major London event
  • Professor Bill Buchanan presents keynote speech at international seminar in the Netherlands
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give BCS Talk on Patient Centric Care using Secure Cloud infrastractures
  • IIDI Professor to present invited talk at Cloud Computing 2012
  • IIDI Professor presents on the future of technology at the Royal Society of Edinburgh


Media Activity

  • 4 days ... 60 presentations ... 4 cities ... over 3,000 kids .. and great fun!
  • 3,000th registration for the Bright Red Publishing Digital Zone
  • Academic Team Identify Key Risks in Mobile Device Security at KPMG Seminar
  • Smartphones track the spread of flu
  • Support for young Scottish software company
  • BBC Click Item on Cybercrime on Mobile Phones
  • Bright Red Digital Zone Keeps Expanding
  • Bright Red Publishing Digital Zone passes 5,000 registration target, with Biology out in-front
  • Big Data Collaboration Aims to Improve Health and Social Care
  • Boffins to build safer patient systems
  • Proof-of-Concept project reaches the final of the Converge Challenge
  • Research Team Contribute To BBC Panorama Programme on Cyber Security
  • Research Team Presents to Sold-out Audience in Glasgow
  • Research Team Analyse New Apple Mac Privileged Access Exploit
  • Research Team Confirm Major Flaw within Internet of Things' Security
  • Research team outline a traffic light hack that could bring down a city
  • Research Team outlines the Strange Mystery of Truecrypt - the Mary Celeste of IT
  • Research Team Outline SQL Injection Attack Which Gathered 1.2 Billion Usernames/Passwords
  • Research group innovates in health and social care integration
  • Research Team Propose that Digitising Health Records Could Cut Child Abuse
  • Reseachers Investigate Skeleton Key Attacks on User Passwords
  • Professor outlines DarkHotel and Advanced Persistent Threat
  • Professor Outlines that the Sony Hack could be one of the Largest Data Breaches Ever
  • Professor outlines Malware install for ATM compromise
  • Professor outlines that Shellshock is not as much of a risk than Heartbleed
  • Professor outlines vulnerabilities on Apple Mac with iWorm and Shell Shock
  • Professor outlines case to BBC for Security in Cyber Space around the Scottish Independence debate
  • Professor Outlines Bitcoin Risks to The Scotsman
  • Professor Outlines Ransomware Attack on BBC
  • Professor outlines the need for Corroboration in Digital Evidence
  • Professor outlines the details of Ashley Madison breach and on the rise of the moralist hacker
  • Professor Outlines Issues in Banning Encryption in the UK on BBC Newsnight
  • Professor outlines Yahoo's fine for PRISM breach
  • Professor Named in FutureScot Top 50 Tech People Who Are Changing The World
  • Professor warns against media hype on security threats on GameOver Zeus
  • Professor to Outline Opportunities in Education at Kickstart Summer School
  • Professor's Web site hits a million accesses mark
  • Professor's On-line Lectures Pass One Million Minutes Mark on YouTube
  • Professor's Analysis of Scottish Independence Vote for Pre-vote trends
  • Professor outlines IBM's track back to its roots
  • Professor Outlines The Areas of Change in Cyber Security
  • Professor outlines Tor attack methods
  • Professor outlines the Boleto fraud and that you don't need a fast car to rob a bank anymore
  • Professor outlines some of the dangers in using digital data as evidence
  • Professor Analyses Trends in Scottish Independence Vote using Bookmarker Odds
  • Prof Bill Buchanan appears on Newsnight Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise Profile IIDI Security Professor
  • Security Team Discover New Distributed Denial of Service Amplification Attack
  • Sally Smith appointed Dean of School for the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier
  • Sally Smith and Bill Buchanan make it into the Top 100 Tech Influencers in Scotland
  • Mobile application uses predictive analytics to identify patients at risk and reduce hospital admissions
  • Payfont secures £100k Scottish Enterprise funding with University Cyber Collaboration
  • Payfont secures world leading innovation support from Scottish Enterprise in collaboration with Crypto specialists at Edinburgh Napier
  • Over 3,000 pupils from 50 schools sign up for Christmas Cyber Lecture
  • Let the Cracking Begin... Sunderland, Portsmouth, Royal Holloway, Plymouth, Bristol and us!
  • John Howie Awarded a Visiting Professorship
  • Location, Location, Location
  • The Ghost of John Napier: Edinburgh Napier team focuses on University Cipher Challenges
  • Centre of Excellence in Digital Forensics award for Edinburgh Napier
  • Edinburgh Napier Spin-out ZoneFox signs deal with major Security Firm
  • The Cyber Academy Hosts Two New PhD Studentships in Cloud Security
  • The Cyber Academy recruit their first two fully funded PhD studentships ... and more to follow
  • We're looking for the smartest around to build world-leading infrastructures
  • Edinburgh Napier designed e-Health Platform goes live, with coverage in The Guardian, BMJ, ZDNet and The Financial Times
  • Edinburgh Napier University computing students participate in Cyber Security UK's University Challenge
  • YouTube lecture channel to support GCHQ-certified MSc hits 2,000+ subscribers.
  • ZoneFox Presents at Apache Cassandra Meetup on Big Data Integration
  • Cyber Christmas Lecture for Schools (first event sold-out)
  • Cyber crime expert warns for cyber threat
  • UK scientists track disease spread with smartphones (Electronics Weekly)
  • IIDI selects miiCard as identity provider for information sharing governance
  • IIDI research contributes to miiCard white paper on trusted data governance
  • IIDI Lead in Search for Cybercrime Specialists of the Future
  • IIDI Professor says that Scotland could lead world in cyber crime fight
  • IIDI Professor gives evidence on new Bill
  • University Research Team Outlines TweetDeck Hack
  • University Research Team Analyse Heartbleed Part 2
  • Interface Profiles An Exemplar for University/SME Collobration
  • Christmas Lecture for Schools starts in Glasgow
  • Innovation Collaboration Leads to Major Cryptography Work with Payfont
  • Innovative Software puts a price on Cybercrime
  • Institute Trains Advanced Digital Investigation Skills of Police Scotland
  • Head of School and IIDI Professor make Top 100 ICT List
  • Hutchinson Networks Showcase Collaboration Work Around Innovation and Dissemination
  • FarrPoint appoints award-winning graduate for research colloboration
  • Napier researchers track infection spread with a smartphone
  • New Innovation Collaboration aims to Secure Remote Working using Patent Pending Technology (IMP)
  • Collaboration Reaches a Higher Level for Educational Platforms
  • Collaboration with Sitekit around Federated Identity, Trust and Governance
  • The Herald reports that an Edinburgh Napier Expert warns of ‘growing threat’ from cyber crime


Research Degree External Examining

  • Bill Buchanan completes PhD External Examiner duties at the University of the West of Scotland
  • Bill to serve as a PhD examiner at the University of Essex
  • Bill Buchanan to serve as an external examiner at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Professor to examine PhD on the Authentication of Mobile Computing Devices in a Heterogeneous Environment
  • Professor set for PhD Examination at Dublin City University in Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention
  • Prof William Buchanan starts external examiner duties at Dublin City University
  • Prof William Buchanan completes PhD Viva at the University of Essex
  • Prof Bill Buchanan completes PhD Viva on Intrusion Detection Systems at the University of Plymouth
  • PhD Examination, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • PhD Examination, University of Bedfordshire
  • PhD Examination, Crainfield University
  • External Examiner PhD at the University of Plymouth
  • New External Examiner post at Dublin City University


Spin-outs and Licences

  • IIDI team files patent on improved information sharing using Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs)
  • University Spin-out (ZoneFox) raises over £1 million for Cybersecurity Software
  • Inquisitive Systems spin-out receives an over subscription of investors.
  • New spin-out aims to make a major impact in Trust and Governance



310 results

Privacy-preserving Surveillance Methods using Homomorphic Encryption

Conference Proceeding
Bowditch, W., Abramson, W., Buchanan, W. J., Pitropakis, N., & Hall, A. J. (2020)
Privacy-preserving Surveillance Methods using Homomorphic Encryption.
Data analysis and machine learning methods often involve the processing of cleartext data, and where this could breach the rights to privacy. Increasingly, we must use encrypt...

Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach

Conference Proceeding
Christou, O., Pitropakis, N., Papadopoulos, P., Mckeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach.
Phishing is considered to be one of the most prevalent cyber-attacks because of its immense flexibility and alarmingly high success rate. Even with adequate training and high ...

A Distributed Trust Framework for Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning

Conference Proceeding
Abramson, W., Hall, A. J., Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
A Distributed Trust Framework for Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning. In Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business. , (205-220).
When training a machine learning model, it is standard procedure for the researcher to have full knowledge of both the data and model. However, this engenders a lack of trust ...

FPC-BI: Fast Probabilistic Consensus within Byzantine Infrastructures

Journal Article
Popov, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
FPC-BI: Fast Probabilistic Consensus within Byzantine Infrastructures. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, 147, 77-86.
This paper presents a novel leaderless protocol (FPC-BI: Fast Probabilistic Consensus within Byzantine Infrastructures) with a low communicational complexity and which allows ...

Review and Critical Analysis of Privacy-preserving Infection Tracking and Contact Tracing

Journal Article
Buchanan, W. J., Imran, M. A., Ur-Rehman, M., Zhang, L., Abbasi, Q. H., Chrysoulas, C., …Papadopoulos, P. (in press)
Review and Critical Analysis of Privacy-preserving Infection Tracking and Contact Tracing. Frontiers,
The outbreak of viruses have necessitated contact tracing and infection tracking methods. Despite various efforts, there is currently no standard scheme for the tracing and tr...

DNA and Plaintext Dependent Chaotic Visual Selective Image Encryption

Journal Article
Khan, J. S., Boulila, W., Ahmad, J., Rubaiee, S., Rehman, A. U., Alroobaea, R., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
DNA and Plaintext Dependent Chaotic Visual Selective Image Encryption. IEEE Access, 8, 159732 - 159744.
Visual selective image encryption can both improve the efficiency of the image encryption algorithm and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks against data. In this artic...

Trust-based Ecosystem to Combat Fake News

Conference Proceeding
Jaroucheh, Z., Alissa, M., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
Trust-based Ecosystem to Combat Fake News.
The growing spread of misinformation and dis-information has grave political, social, ethical, and privacy implications for society. Therefore, there is an ethical need to com...

Privacy-Preserving Passive DNS

Journal Article
Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., Buchanan, W. J., Lo, O., & Katsikas, S. (2020)
Privacy-Preserving Passive DNS. Computers, 9(3),
The Domain Name System (DNS) was created to resolve the IP addresses of web servers to easily remembered names. When it was initially created, security was not a major concern...

TRUSTD: Combat Fake Content using Blockchain and Collective Signature Technologies

Conference Proceeding
Jaroucheh, Z., Alissa, M., Buchanan, W. J., & Liu, X. (2020)
TRUSTD: Combat Fake Content using Blockchain and Collective Signature Technologies. In 2020 IEEE 44th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference (COMPSAC 2020). , (1215-1220
The growing trend of sharing news/contents, through social media platforms and the World Wide Web has been seen to impact our perception of the truth, altering our views about...

Chaos-based Confusion and Diffusion of Image Pixels using Dynamic Substitution

Journal Article
Abdullah, Q., Ahmad, J., Boulila, W., Rubaiee, S., Masood, F., Khan, F., & Buchanan, W. J. (in press)
Chaos-based Confusion and Diffusion of Image Pixels using Dynamic Substitution. IEEE Access, 8, 140876-140895.
The evolution of wireless and mobile communication from 0G to the upcoming 5G gives riseto data sharing through the Internet. This data transfer via open public networks are s...

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