Spotlight on: Dr Jason Nurse

In our monthly feature, we are shining a spotlight on members of the PETRAS community, to help us get to know the people that make up our diverse research hub. This month Jason Nurse, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford is stepping into the spotlight. If you would like to be featured in a future edition please contact Sarah Hardy in the impact team at

What is your role and what does it involve?
I am currently a Senior Researcher on the Cyber Risk Assessment for Coupled Systems PETRAS project. As the dedicated researcher on the project, my role is to drive the research internally as well as the engagement with external user partners. This is quite an exciting role because we are at the cutting edge of research in identifying new risks in coupled and IoT systems, and also in investigating the development of new methodologies for risk assessment. These methodologies are desperately required by security practitioners in industry as they aim to identify, evaluate and prioritise risks in the highly dynamic and pervasive environment of the IoT.

CRACS project logo

JASON WORKS ON CRACS — Cyber Risk Assessment for Coupled Systems

How long have you been with PETRAS and what was your previous role?
I have been with PETRAS since December 2016 and my previous role was as a Research Fellow investigating the relative effectiveness of widely used security risk controls and the real value of compliance to security standards. The context of this work was organisation security and particularly the industry of cyber insurance.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
Having identified several shortcomings of existing security risk assessment approaches in the IoT, my task now is to propose and evaluate a series of enhancements to such approaches. These enhancements target the aforementioned shortcomings but also aim to be uniquely tailored for the nuances of the IoT. Once complete, I will lead an evaluation of the enhancements through case studies and focus groups with industry practitioners. This will ensure that the methods that CRACS proposes are well-informed and refined for real-world use.

What about the IoT attracted you to working in this area?
The IoT has, and will, continue to significantly change our society. As with all forms of technology however, we need to ensure that it is used responsibly (as highlighted through Responsible Research and Innovation) and emphasises key properties of security, privacy and trust. I’ve been chuffed to work on PETRAS on these topics because it is a world-class project with a world-class team, focusing on real-life problems that are, and will be, encountered by society.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Must be MJ’s Thriller! Film? Well, Neo did save the world… And, for novel, definitely a fan of Isaac Asimov’s works…

Who would be your dream dinner guests?
A round table with my parents, Lorrie Cranor, Brian Krebs, Bruce Schneier, and Daniel Kahneman.

What advice would you give your younger self?
“Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” Stephen Hawking

What would it surprise people to know about you?
I’m excited but also quite petrified about the future of technology. Really. I can only imagine where we will go!