Being able to reliably and securely run algorithms which deliver results when they are needed and in a way which users can action is just as important as having the right algorithms in the first place. Designing and implementing the right architecture is therefore a key task in delivering any software solution. We have expertise in building, deploying and running mobile, desktop and web-based secure architectures which meet customer needs to deliver the insight they want.
Just like designing a building, software architecture is a specialist task which has to take into account user need, functionality and aesthetics. Good architecture can make a significant difference to usability, performance and cost, so getting it right from day one is key to providing the right solution.
Designing the right software architecture begins with first understanding the key needs of the end users, balancing functionality with constraints imposed by infrastructure and cost. We have a wealth of experience in designing, building and maintaining cloud-based web platforms and APIs, desktop software which can run across a variety of platforms, mobile apps backed by web services, containerised, embedded and IoT sensors and their infrastructure. Each presents its own unique requirements and different architectural choices.
To make sure we build the right solutions for each type of system that we deploy, we keep up-to-date with the latest developments and best practice. For example, traditional web-based systems use server-based architectures where cloud compute resources are constantly run in a load balanced environment to serve user requests, yet requests are typically not constant, and hence resources can be running when they are not being used. Where appropriate, our preferred web service architecture now deploys serverless technologies which respond only when needed with very low latency, and which scale to meet demand almost instantly. This reduces the deployment costs and reduces maintenance requirements.
With systems under constant attack by automated hacking software, and individuals subject to phishing and other forms of social engineering, building secure systems requires up-to-date knowledge on attack vectors and the tools necessary to combat them. All of the software we develop follows best practice guidelines on security, from applying security patches to using approved standards, compliant infrastructure and robustly tested authentication systems.
Beyond best practice, we also have expertise in cyber-security protocols, encryption and privacy-preserving technologies and leading-edge research. Applying encryption protocols requires a deep understanding of their properties and underlying assumptions — getting any one of the steps wrong can invalidate the whole security architecture and leave systems vulnerable to attack. We have experience in a range of protocols and techniques. This extends to deploying popular distributed ledger technologies to provide immutable records of transactions.
Manulis, M., Treharne, H., Newton, C., Casey, M.C. (2020) "Beyond Passwords: the Future of Web Authentication" New Statesman Spotlight: Cyber Security: Adapting to the Pandemic
Sallal, M., Schneider, S., Casey, M., Dragan, C., Dupressoir, F., Riley, L., Treharne, H., Wadsworth, J., Wright, P. (2019) "VMV: Augmenting an Internet Voting System with Selene Verifiability" arXiv:1912.00288 [cs.CR]
Whitefield, J., Casey, M.C, Chen, L., Giannetsos, T., Newton, C., Sasse, R., Treharne, H., Schneider, S., Wesemeyer, S. (2019) "Direct Anonymous Attestation in the Wild" Real World Crypto Symposium 2019 contributed talk Download
Al-Khalili, J., Smith, A., Sen, P. (2017) "Gravity and Me: the Force that Shapes our Lives" BBC 4 science programme using an iOS and Android app to measure local relativity effects
Treharne, H., Casey, M.C., Schneider, S., Wesemeyer, S., Ross, T., May, A., Blainey, S., Pritchard, J. (2016) "Integrating Data Sources to Enhance the Experience for Passengers with Special Needs and/or Disabilities through Privacy Aware Mobile Applications" Data to Improve the Customer Experience, RRUKA, 20/09/2016 Download
Hickman, D.L., Smith, M.I. (2016) "Mathematical Modeling and Validation in EO System Development" SPIE Press Book
Heather, J.P., Smith, M.I., Sadler, J., Hickman, D.L. (2010) "Issues and Challenges in the Development of a Commercialised Image Fusion System" Proceedings of SPIE 7701, Visual Information Processing XIX, 77010A
Alsudani, F., Casey, M.C. (2009) "The Effect of Aesthetics on Web Credibility" Proceedings of the 23rd BCS conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI 2009). Cambridge, UK Download
Dwyer, D.J., Smith, M.I., Dale, J.L., Heather, J.P. (2005) "Real-time Implementation of Image Alignment and Fusion" Proceedings SPIE 5813, Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2005
Clare, P.J.C., Gulley, J.W., Hickman, D.L., Smith, M.I. (1997) "Design and Tuning of FPGA Implementations of Neural Networks" Proceedings of SPIE 3069, Automatic Target Recognition VII