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Research Areas

CAP Research areas: (1) privacy; (2) cybersecurity for critical infrastructure networks; (3) security in wireless networks; and (4) network monitoring and performance.

1. Privacy

Privacy with regard to computing can be loosely defined as the control over the extent, timing, and circumstances of sharing information deemed private by an individual or organization. Our work in this area involves developing techniques to enhance and compromise the privacy of different entities (e.g., datasets, social networks, encrypted video traffic).

2. Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Networks

The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks and smart grids gather real-time data, control operations, and remotely monitor terminal units and industrial equipment. These networks are used in a variety of critical infrastructure applications such as power plants, oil and gas pipelines, chemical refineries, flood control dams, waste and water distribution systems, wind farms, and civil defense siren systems. Secure distribution of data in these critical networks is imperative because injection of false or redundant data is, at a minimum costly, and could lead to loss of life in extreme cases. Our work in this area involves the development of architectures, protocols, and algorithms to address challenges faced in securing current and future critical infrastructure networks against cyber attacks.

3. Security in Wireless Networks

Wireless networks differ from wired networks in several ways including: (1) node proximity - attackers often are physically close to victims in wireless networks; (2) signal propagation - the wireless link is inherently insecure as it broadcasts traffic, giving surrounding nodes an opportunity to eavesdrop; (3) resource constraints - often the devices on a wireless network have a finite amount of power supplied by a battery and have limited processing and transmission power (e.g., sensor nodes); and (4) mobility - wireless nodes often have varying levels of mobility. As a result of the above differences between wired and wireless networks, techniques for providing security in wired networks cannot be directly applied to resource-constrained wireless networks. Our work in this area involves the development of resource-aware security protocols for various wireless networks.

4. Network Monitoring and Performance

Ensuring that network protocols operate efficiently is a challenging problem. Additionally, ensuring that network protocols operate as designed and detecting malicious behavior on networks have become increasingly challenging problems.These challenges are heightened as networks become large and distributed or operate over a wireless medium. Our work in this area involves designing efficient protocols that reduce network overhead and energy consumption of wireless devices, and improve the overall performance of the network. Further, we develop techniques to detect and characterize traffic on networks with a primary goal of detecting malicious behavior on these networks