School of Computing


Photo of Professor Debi Ashenden

Professor Debi Ashenden

  • Qualifications: BA (Hons) MA MSc MBA PhD
  • Role Title: Professor of Cyber Security
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth PO1 3HE UK
  • Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 6382
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Computing
  • Faculty: Faculty of Technology


I am a Professor of Cyber Security in the School of Computing at the University of Portsmouth.

I was previously Head of the Centre for Cyber Security at Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the UK. Before becoming an academic I was a Managing Consultant at QinetiQ (formerly DERA). I have been working in cyber security since 1998. I have a PhD in Computer Science from UCL, an MBA, MSc in Computer Science, MA in Victorian Literature and BA (Hons) in English Literature.

I have worked extensively across the public and private sector for organisations such as the MoD, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Euroclear, Prudential, Barclaycard, Reuters and Close Bros. I've had a number of articles on cyber security published, presented at a range of conferences and co-authored a book for Butterworth Heinemann, Risk Management for Computer Security: Protecting Your Network & Information Assets.


My research interests are in the social and behavioural aspects of cyber security – particularly in finding ways of ‘patching with people’ as well as technology. I am the Programme Director for Protective Security & Risk at the Centre for Research & Evidence for Security Threats (CREST). CREST is a national hub for understanding, countering and mitigating security threats. I have previously carried out research funded by EPSRC, ESRC, Technology Strategy Board, Home Office, Fujitsu, Police IT Organisation, MoD, DTI, Cabinet Office, Dstl, GCHQ.