Cybersecurity cuts across disciplines to protect digital data and systems. Such systems include computers, smart phones, wearables, Internet-of-Things devices, autonomous vehicles, and industrial control systems—essentially anything that processes digital data.

Protecting these systems and the data they process involves work at the lowest physical and hardware layers up through the highest software layers; securing a system starts at the design phase and continues through implementation, operation, and investigation.

Hardware Security

This group examines the design, operation, and protection of processors and associated digital hardware at the physical and lowest software layers. For example, researchers use machine learning at both the hardware and software levels to provide protection against malicious insertions on integrated circuits and to prevent the cloning of chips through reverse engineering.

Principal investigator: Sai Manoj Pudukotai DinakarraoKhaled Khasawneh

Wireless Communication Security

The Wireless Innovation and Cybersecurity Lab (WICL) focuses on secure wireless communications to include attack, defense, and detection. Current research addresses attacks in cognitive radio networks and security for different aspects of 5G communications. Other work examines the security of UAV (drone) communication and control, identifies drone platforms from encrypted wireless activity, and analyzes automobile network signals for indications of intrusions.

Principal investigator: Kai Zeng

Digital Forensics

The Digital Forensics and Data Analytics Research Group (DFDARG) focuses on the extraction, analysis, and manipulation of residual digital artifact fragments. Researchers extract raw digital data from a range of systems and media, to include IoT devices, point-of-sale systems, PLCs, UAVs, other embedded systems, smart phones, computers, and portable storage media. Extracted data is analyzed to infer past activity, to include system compromise, malfunctions, and misuse. The group also develops methods for manipulating transient and persistent data as well as methods for detecting such manipulation.

Principal investigator: Jim JonesRobert Osgood 

This is a photo of professors Kai Zeng and Jim Jones in their cyber security research lab. There are wires and a computer.

Professors Kai Zeng (left) and Jim Jones work together in the cyber-physical security lab. Photo by Ron Aira.