The Stack Archive

NSA-funded project to build cybersecurity into IoT design

Tue 11 Aug 2015

A new virtualisation architecture is being developed at the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) which can be implemented to build cybersecurity into Internet of Things (IoT) systems, such as smart car technologies, industrial control programmes and cloud-based frameworks.

The technology, named Dielectric, will allow for the addition of cybersecurity features specifically during the design process of an IoT-based product.

“While finding flaws and repairing them will continue to be an important focus in cybersecurity research, this proposal focuses on an architectural approach to building security into the system at the outset,” explained principal investigator and electrical and computer engineering researcher Dr Coe.

Coe’s team includes two further UAH researchers from the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, Dr Jeffrey Kulick and Dr Aleksander Milenkovic, as well as two members of the University’s Computer Science department, Dr Letha Etzkorn and Dr Sun-il Kim.

The project is funded by a one-year $299,622 grant from the National Security Agency (NSA). The engineers hope to receive the fund over the next few weeks which will allow them to employ two graduate student researchers to support the development of the technology.

“Working with NSA puts UAH students and faculty right at the cutting edge of cybersecurity research. These types of research projects create new technologies and launch careers,” said Tommy Morris, founding director of UAH’s new Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education.

Commenting on the collaborative approach to the research Dr Etzkorn said: “With the Internet of Things, one expects various ‘things’ – that is, embedded systems – to connect to the cloud. We are examining security methodologies that can apply both at the embedded systems level and the cloud level […] Dr Kim and I are working mainly on the cloud portion, whereas Dr Coe, Dr Kulick and Dr Milenkovic are working more on the embedded side.”

According to the University release, Dr Kim will also focus on how Dielectric can be used in embedded smart car technologies, building on his expertise in automotive computer systems.


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