William (Bill) J Buchanan OBE is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and 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 cybersecurity. He has won student-voted awards for teaching excellence in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2023. 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.
Bill lives and works in Edinburgh, and is a believer in fairness, justice, and freedom. His social media tagline reflects his strong belief in changing the world for the better: "A Serial Innovator. An Old World Breaker. A New World Creator." He also has a strong belief in the power of education, and in supporting innovation from every angle. Bill currently leads the Blockpass ID Lab and the Centre for Cybersystems and Cryptography. He works in the areas of blockchain, cryptography, trust and digital identity.
Bill has published over 30 academic books, and over 300 academic research papers. Along with this, Bill’s work has led to many areas of impact, including three highly successful spin-out companies (Zonefox, Symphonic Software and Cyan Forensics), along with awards for excellence in knowledge transfer and for teaching. Bill recently received an ”Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange” award, and was included in the FutureScot "Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World”.
His main research focus is applied cryptography, digital privacy/trust, and digital identity. Bill’s work has led to many UK/World-wide patents, and three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox (zonefox.com); Symphonic (symphonicsoft.com); Cyacomb (cyanforensics.com). He has an i-10 index of 125 and supported a recent spin-out (MemCrypt) and which focuses on the discovery of encryption keys in running memory. This work is the first in the world to recover ChaCha20 encryption keys and salt values from running memory and is progressing towards VC funding.
Within the Blockpass ID Lab, Bill leads a team which focuses of areas of digital identity and cryptography and which hosts a number of research projects, including two EU projects (GLASS and TRUSTEE), and two KTP projects (MIRACL and Democracy Counts). Current work includes the integration of homomorphic encryption and ZKP (Zero Knowledge Proofs) into privacy-aware systems and with a special focus on the rights of citizens to privacy. A key focus of Bill’s work around industry collaborations, and which now included four co-funded PhD studentship collaborations with an industrial partner.
Bill has one of the most extensive cryptography/cybersecurity-related academic sites in the World (http://asecuritysite.com) and is involved in many areas of novel research and teaching, especially related to cryptography and cybersecurity. He was also included in the FutureScot “50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World". In 2017, he received the "Cyber Evangelist of the Year" award at the Scottish Cybersecurity Awards and with several awards for excellence in innovation. He has supervised 39 PhD and MPhil students to completion.
In Unit of Assessment 11 (Computer Science and Informatics) within REF 2021, Bill led two research impact case studies: "Enabling Sensitive Personal Data to be Shared with Trust using Novel Digital Security Methods", and "Protecting Employees, Children and Sensitive Data using Innovative Approaches to Cyber Security". Both of these impact case studies were graded as 4*.
His lectures are online at http://youtube.com/billatnapier, with over 1,000 on-line lectures, and which has around 10K subscribers, with more than four million minutes watched. Along with this, he created one of the most extensive online environments for schools in Scotland, and which has over 120K registered users (http://brightredbooks.net) and over one million test questions taken.