Research Topics in Cyber Security
The Cyber Security research at Kent has experienced significant growth since the award of ACE-CSR status in 2015 and its Cyber Security capabilities were strengthened through several strategic appointments (Arief, Delgado, Li, Kafalı). Our Cyber Security capabilities relevant for the ACE-CSR call are organised into four main research themes:
Authentication and Authorisation (Theme lead: Gareth Howells): Biometrics and other new authentication technologies, passwords, federated identity management, CAPTCHA, device authentication, authentication, authorisation and access control protocols, autonomic authorisation.
Communication and Network Security (Theme lead: Julio Cesar Hernandez-Castro): IoT security, RFID security, cloud security, network security protocols, secure quantum communications, network intrusion detection, data loss prevention.
Security Testing and Verification (Theme lead: Andy King): Software security analysis, malware code analysis, security metrics and automated testing, self-adaptive security in software systems, self-testing of quantum computing for next-generation quantum based security systems.
Socio-technical Security (Theme lead: Shujun Li): Socio-technical aspects of malware especially ransomware, usability, user behaviour, user profiling and modelling, cybercrime, privacy by design and privacy management, security and trust in online social networks, human-related risks, insider threats, trust management.
The Centre also has capabilities in some other important Cyber Security areas beyond and cross-cutting the above themes, especially digital forensics, information hiding, and quantum cryptography. The majority of Core Members (Deravi, Guest, Hernandez-Castro, Hoque, Howells, Kafalı, Li) have research expertise in applications of AI related technologies (machine learning, data mining, data analytics, discrete optimisation and information visualisation) in Cyber Security, which will allow interactions with other research groups of the two core schools of KirCCS (Data Science and Computational Intelligence groups of School of Computing; Intelligent Interactions group of School of Engineering and Digital Arts). Our work on these cross-cutting areas allows interactions with Associate Members from several other schools (Physical Sciences; Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research; Law; Psychology).
The University has set Cyber Security as one of only two university level priority areas (together with Biosciences) and has a plan to further grow the Centre by appointing more academic staff. We therefore look forward to extending our research spectrum to cover more future emerging Cyber Security technologies.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we love participating, as it is a way to help further educate everyone about staying safe on the Internet. To kick off the first week, we’re going to give you a crash course in basic cyber security 101. A lot of these topics will come up over the next month, so let’s make sure everyone knows what they mean.
1. Secure Passwords:
The keys to our digital kingdom, passwords should be closely protected. A lot of the times, that’s all a cybercriminal needs to gain access to your account. The following articles not only teach you about HOW to make secure passwords and protect them, but WHY as well.
Malware, malware, malware! You hear that term everywhere, however, it can mean so many different things. Malware is more of an umbrella term used for any kind of malicious software on the Internet landscape- from annoying adware to devastating ransomware, these articles will help explain to you the types of common malware, what it does, and how you can get it.
If this isn’t an issue for you, it should be. A lot of people take the stance of “I don’t do anything wrong, therefore I have nothing to hide.” however that is largely misinterpreted. You have everything to hide. So many apps, websites and services we use online today host a trove of data about their users, they’re a goldmine for a cybercriminal. These articles will teach you about the importance of data privacy and how to make your digital footprint more secure online.
4. Data Breaches:
Data breaches are why we should care about our privacy. Scammers and criminals target companies in order to obtain as much data as possible about an individual, which in turn helps them commit identity theft or collect a hefty sum on the black market for the data. Learn about how data breaches happen and what to do if you happen to get involved in a data breach.
5. Safe Computing:
A lot of the threats today you can combat yourself, just armed with a little bit of knowledge. Internet security software is an essential piece of the cyber security pie, however, it can’t protect you form every single threat out there. Comprehensive Internet security software, coupled with a well educated user will go a long way on the threat landscape, so get your learn on, and empower yourself to navigate the web safely.
6. Online Scams:
Scammers are the bottom of the barrel of Internet criminals. Online scams take hardly any technical skills to execute, yet so many people fall for them. You can find online scams everywhere today, from social media platforms to our private email accounts. These articles can teach you how to identify the common red flags found in most scams, and how to keep protected against them.
7. Mobile Protection:
There are just as many threats on the mobile landscape as there are with computers. With the popularity of smartphones and tablets on the rise, they are becoming more of a target to cybercriminals. Since we’re starting to use our smaller devices as we would a desktop or laptop computer, more of our personal data is stored on these devices and thieves are taking notice. Learn about the varied types of threats on the mobile landscape and how to stay safe.
Now that you are armed with the basics, you will find that they will actually take you a long way. We will be covering more, in-depth looks at specific topics all month. Check back here for updates and new posts, and happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month!
Here are some more weekly topics for National Cyber Security Awareness Month that you may have missed:
Week one- Five Years of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. – Best Practices for All Digital Citizens:
Week two- Creating a Culture of Cyber Security at Work:
Week three- Connected Communities and Families: Staying Protected While We Are Always Connected
Week four- Your Evolving Digital Life
Week five- Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals