Dr Natalie Coull

Head of Division

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Cyber Security

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8938

Biography

Dr Natalie Coull is the Head of Division of Cyber Security in the School of Design and Informatics and has research interests in secure coding, digital watermarks and computer memory-based security concerns. She also teaches foundational programming and computer security to undergraduate students. Natalie is actively engaged in outreach, including promoting female participation in cyber security and leading a programme to provide Abertay student mentors for local school pupils as part of their National Progression Award in Cybersecurity.
Natalie is interested in exploring the role of computer games in cybersecurity training. In collaboration with Droman Crime Solutions Ltd., a leading strategic consultancy company in security and public safety, and Hyper Luminal, a serious games company, together with Dr Iain Donald, a serious games expert at Abertay, the team is developing a new kind of training environment to help the police deal with cybercrime.

Natalie gained a First Class Honours Degree in Business Computing at Abertay University and a Doctorate in technology-enhanced education at the University of St Andrews, which was followed by a Post-Doctoral post in the same area. Natalie was appointed as a Lecturer in Ethical Hacking in 2008 at Abertay.

CMP104 & CMP102 - Introductory Programming

The aim of these modules is to provide students with the ability to develop simple programs in C++ that illustrate fundamental programming concepts.

CMP210 - Ethical Hacking 1

This module gives students the opportunity to explore the steps involved in a basic penetration test using our test network. Students will explore the tools used in footprinting, scanning, enumeration and system hacking.

CMP506 - Computer Security

The module introduces issues relating to computer security, including vulnerabilities and techniques for improving defences. Students will analyse how malicious hackers can gain unauthorised access and explore how organisations and individuals can improve their security.

Interests

My research focuses on cataloguing security threats and vulnerabilities to better understand their root cause and identify appropriate techniques to improve communication of security problems. In particular my research investigates how anti-patterns can be used to transfer knowledge from the cybersecurity community to the software development community to ensure that secure software is developed from the outset. Broader research interests also encompass developing appropriate testing methodologies for SMEs and IoT, and the wider context of cybercrime and prevention measures.

I am also interested in exploring the role of computer games in cybersecurity training. In collaboration with Droman Crime Solutions Ltd., a leading strategic consultancy company in security and public safety, and Hyper Luminal, a serious games company, together with Dr Iain Donald, a serious games expert at Abertay, the team is developing a new kind of training environment to help the police deal with cybercrime.

2019

BlackWatch

Hall, C. C., Shepherd, L. & Coull, N. J. (2019) BlackWatch. . . .
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2017

On the use of serious games technology to facilitate large-scale training in cybercrime response

Coull, N., Donald, I., Ferguson, I., Keane, E., Mitchell, T., Smith, O. V., Stevenson, E. & Tomkins, P. (2017) On the use of serious games technology to facilitate large-scale training in cybercrime response. . . p. 123-130. .
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Vulnerability anti-patterns

Nafees, T., Coull, N., Ferguson, I. & Sampson, A. (2017) Vulnerability anti-patterns. In: Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs. . . The Hillside Group.
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The gamification of cybersecurity training

Coull, N., Donald, I., Ferguson, I., Keane, E., Mitchell, T., Smith, O. V., Stevenson, E. & Tomkins, P. (2017) The gamification of cybersecurity training. In: E-learning and games: 11th International Conference, Edutainment 2017, Bournemouth, UK, June 26 – 28, 2017 : revised selected papers. Tian, F. (ed.), Gatzidis, C. (ed.), El Rhalibi, A. (ed.), Tang, W. (ed.), Charles, F. (ed.). p. 108-111. Cham: Springer.
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Idea-caution before exploitation

Nafees, T., Coull, N., Ferguson, R. I. & Sampson, A. (2017) Idea-caution before exploitation. In: Engineering secure software and systems: 9th Internatinal symposium, ESSoS 2017 Bonn, Germany, July 3-5, 2017: proceedings. Bodden, E. (ed.), Paye, M. (ed.), Athanasopoulos, E. (ed.). 1 ed., p. 133-142. Chambray: Springer.
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A methodology for testing virtualisation security

Donaldson, S., Coull, N. J. & McLuskie, D. (2017) A methodology for testing virtualisation security. In: Proceedings of the International Conference On Cyber Situational Awareness, Data Analytics And Assessment (CyberSA). . . IEEE .
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2016

Authenticity by design

De Paoli, S., Ball, L., Coull, N., Isaacs, J., MacDonald, A. & Letham, J. (2016) Authenticity by design. In: Socialbots and their friends: digital media and the automation of sociality. Gehl, R. (ed.), Bakardjieva, M. (ed.). p. 164-186. Abingdon: Routledge.
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Cybersecurity

Ferguson, R. I. & Coull, N. J. (2016) Cybersecurity. . . p. 3-4. .
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2014

A method for resolving security vulnerabilities through the use of design patterns

Walker, N., Coull, N. J., Ferguson, R. I. & Milne, A. (2014) A method for resolving security vulnerabilities through the use of design patterns. In: Cyberpatterns: unifying design patterns with wecurity and attack patterns. Blackwell, C. (ed.), Zhu, H. (ed.). p. 149-155. London: Springer International Publishing.
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2012

The innocent hill walker

Ball, L. D. & Coull, N. J. (2012) The innocent hill walker. . . p. 30-31. .
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Undermining

Ball, L. D., Ewan, G. & Coull, N. J. (2012) Undermining. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Information Retrieval. . p. 275-280. . Scitepress Digital Library.
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2011

Quantifying information dynamics through a new valuation system

Vaish, A., Prabhakar, A., Mishra, H., Dayal, N., Shishir, K. S., Goel, U. & Coull, N. J. (2011) Quantifying information dynamics through a new valuation system. . . p. 313-332. .
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Emergent requirements for supporting introductory programming

Coull, N. J. & Duncan, I. M. M. (2011) Emergent requirements for supporting introductory programming. . . p. 78-85. .
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More Information

Funding

Selected Funding
Year(s) Title of Award Source Value
2016 First Responder Guide Interface (plus matched cash from company) £40,000 (PI)
2016 Droman Crime Solutions Innovation Voucher (plus matched cash from company) £10,000 (PI)
2014 RIO (Remote Internet Observation) SIPR £5,000 (PI)
2014 Monitoring of Internet Sex Offenders KTG (Knowledge Transfer Grant) £5000 (PI)

Esteem

Esteem

• Invited speaker, IESIS ProfEng “Analysis of a Cyber Attack”
• Invited speaker Holyrood Cyber Security Conference “The Role of Education in Cyber Security”
• Assessor for the 2017 round of the EPSRC and GCHQ’s Academic Centres of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research
• Member of the GCHQ Master’s Certification Panel for session 2016 and session 2017
• Reviewer in external Athena Swan Assessment Panel in April 2016
• Member of SQA’s Qualification Development Team to oversee the creation of a new qualification (National Progression Award) for school children in the area of cybersecurity
• Committee member of the local branch of the BCS (Tayside and Fife)  and Branch Chair from 2014 – 2016
• Associate Member of the BCS
• Fellow of Higher Education Academy
• Outstanding Woman in Cyber Award 2016, Scottish Cyber Awards

Outreach

Outreach

Natalie is a STEM ambassador and organises outreach activities with local schools. These range from computer security talks and demonstrations to senior secondary school pupils to password security and Lego MindStorm programming workshops with younger pupils.

Meet the rest of the team

Mr Ross Heenan

Mr Ross Heenan

Division of Cyber Security | Teaching Fellow

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Dr Andrea Szymkowiak

Dr Andrea Szymkowiak

Division of Cyber Security | Senior Lecturer

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