• United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Cyber Security Risk Management;
    Cryptocurrency and Illicit Money Flows;
    Cloud-based Artificial Intelligence;
    Women in Cyber: Addressing the Gender Gap Challenge

    Personal profile


    I am a Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security Management at Aston Business School and Deputy Director of the Cyber Security Innovation Centre. I have delivered multiple research and consultancy projects aimed at supporting the cyber security sector, working alongside stakeholders in the key areas of cyber security risk management, awareness and organisational training and development. In delivering the initiatives, I hold relationships with LEAs, regional cybercrime units and other resilience centres and academic partnerships.

    My expertise extends beyond the technical aspects of cyber security, into risk management, awareness, organisational culture, and behaviours. As Programme Director for the MSc Cyber Security Management, I continue to empower future leaders and drive innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security.

    As a STEM Ambassador in the West Midlands, I collaborate with diverse stakeholders to inspire the next generation’s interest in STEM, championing knowledge and skills development.

    I am proud to be a founding member of the Ethnic Minorities in Cyber (EMiC) Network, supported by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), where I contribute to fostering inclusivity and representation in the field.

    Additionally, as an APMG Certified Cyber Security Instructor and Chapter Leader for ISACA Central UK, I am committed to advancing best practices and professional development within the industry. I am a ‘Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control’ professional.

    With a track record of excellence, I am honoured to have been recognised with the ‘Midlands Women in Tech Awards’ in 2023, a testament to my dedication and contributions to the field.

    In summary, I am a passionate researcher, dedicated educator, and advocate for diversity and inclusion in cyber security management, committed to making a lasting impact on the industry and beyond.

    Key research projects

    Project: KTP with BlueScreen IT (£202,024)

    Working with BlueScreen IT Limited to establish, develop and manage a new R&D business unit to deliver next-generation technology for the cyber security industry.

     (Role: PI, Project Ongoing; Dates: Aug2022- Jul2024)

    Project: Digital Education for Developing Cybersecurity Skills (£400,000)

    This funding from the WMCA is for an upskilling programme in cybersecurity.  The Digital education project will be delivered  in close collaboration with employers, recruiters, UK Cyber Security Council and the Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) network. The eight-month programme of bootcamps will help close the skills gap in cyber security in the West Midlands.

    (Role: Co-I, Project Ongoing; Dates: Jul2022- Mar2023)

    Project:  CyberKali - Attracting Young Midlands Based Female Decision Makers into Cyber Security (£90,757)

    CyberKali is delivered by a nationally leading consortium of the University of Warwick ACE-CSE and Aston Cyber Security Innovation Centre (CSI) in close collaboration with employers, recruiters, UK Cyber Security Council, the Ethnic Minorities in Cyber (EMiC) network, and several Birmingham based schools. The programme of activities is designed to: attract diverse learner cohorts; provide them with unique in-class cyber skills experiences; and provide exposure to resilient pathways to education and work particularly from the ethnic minorities background, into the cyber security careers.

    (Role: Co-I, Project Ongoing; Dates: Jul2022- Mar2023)

    Project:  Privacy Enhancing Mechanism for Cyber Threat Intelligence (£7,500)

    This project uses advance privacy protection technologies and adapt Differential Privacy methods to support development of privacy-enhancing mechanisms for public sharing of cyber threat intelligence (CTI).

    (Role: Co-I, Project Ongoing; Dates: Jan2022 – Jul2022)

    Project:  Cyber Ecosystem Mapping (£180,000)

    Project for Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), led by EY Government and Public Sector Cyber Security and Aston University.

    This project provides DCMS with research and mapping of the UK’s cybersecurity ecosystem across all regions, to inform future investment and decision-making that will support sector-wide growth and integration.

    (Role: Co-I; Dates: Feb2022 – Apr2022)

    Project:  Cyber Explorer (£53,960)

    Project evaluating the gamification strategy in cyber skills acquisition. Cyber Explorers, an initiative led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), showcases how the skills being taught in class are linked to real world situations, through an immersive, gamified learning experience. Aston is delivering this learning platform to teach cyber skills to school pupils in the WM region.

    (Role: Co-I; Dates: Feb2022 – Sep2022)

    Project:  Cyber ASAP - Consent Management by Receipts (£31,942)

    CyberASAP is a joint initiative of UK DCMS, KTN, and Innovate UK.  Our project Consent Management by Receipts (CMbyReceipts) will look into novel approaches to operationalise Consent Management on the Internet, a key component of Data Protection, with Consent Receipts.

    (Role: PI; Dates: Apr2022 – Jul2022)

    Project:  FinTech Cybersecurity Ecosystem - RKE Pump Priming Fund (£20,000)

    This project enables knowledge exchange and policy support in the WM for research and mapping of the FinTech cybersecurity ecosystem; considered in this context to be the current environment, conditions and interventions that exist to influence or affect Fintech-focused cybersecurity companies.

     (Role: Co-I; Dates: Jan2022 – Jul2022)

    Project: Emerging Sensor Technologies and Data Analytics for Air Quality Monitoring and Impact on Health (£26,000)

    (Role: Principal Investigator, Project successfully completed. This was aired at on BBC 1 Inside Out (in 9 regions across the UK) in February 2020 and received a lot of media attention).

     Project: Cyber Security Readiness and Management Strategy at City Metropolitan District Council (£10,000)

    (Role: Principal Investigator, Project successfully completed, this project has contributed to an impact case study submitted to REF2021)

     Project: Horizon 2020 – New Business Models for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (NEWBITS) (£5.5M)

    (Role: WP Co-Lead; Successfully completed and presented; Project Dates 2016 - 2019)


    Membership of Professional Bodies

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Media Contributions

    Recent Press Releases

    Aston University expert to talk on gender diversity and inclusion at major cyber security event



    Aston University’s Cyber Security Innovation Centre celebrates International Women's Day with special event for local schools

    Aston University cyber security experts to work with EY on cyber security ecosystem research to support UK Government strategy


    External Connections and Partnerships

    Anitha is a steering group member of the Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) Network for under-represented professionals supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The vision of this network consisting of members from across the Midlands region is to:

    • Promote diversity and inclusion in the cyber security sector currently under-represented both by gender and ethnic minorities
    • Deliver engagement initiatives with an aim to increase representation by targeting the under-represented groups
    • Improve awareness of career options and opportunities by promotions and community involvement and engagement
    • Ensure cyber security opportunities are accessible and inclusive for everyone

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Computing, Coventry University

    MSc, Informatics, Coventry University

    PG Cert, Higher Education, Coventry University

    External positions

    External Examiner, Computing Programme, INTO City, University of London


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