U.S. Army Funds ENG-Based Cyber Security Research

By Rachel Harrington

Professor Ioannis Paschalidis (ECE, SE)
Professor Ioannis Paschalidis (ECE, SE)

As people grow more dependent on computers for everything from accessing their bank accounts to storing sensitive information, cyber security has become an increasingly important research area.

At Boston University, Professor Ioannis Paschalidis (ECE, SE) is hoping to improve upon computer data protection by developing an effective way to detect intrusions into private networks and any exfiltration of sensitive or classified information.

“Cyber attacks not only can compromise classified information – whether military, government or corporate – but also cripple the nation’s key infrastructure, including financial institutions, telecommunications, air-traffic control and the electricity grid,” said Paschalidis. “Being able to detect such attacks is an important first step to effective countermeasures.”

The U.S. Army Research Office seemed to agree with his sentiments recently when they awarded $600,000 to his project, “A Coordinated Approach to Cyber-Situation Awareness Based on Traffic Anomaly Detection.”

Paschalidis, the principal investigator (PI) on the project, will work closely with co-PIs, BU Professors Christos Cassandras (ECE, SE) and Mark Crovella (CS, SE), and Paul Barford from the University of Wisconsin.

The team aims to build upon its previous research in order to develop a series of anomaly detection algorithms and tools that will monitor network traffic and operate at both local and global levels. To improve counteraction, input will be processed by a clustering/pattern recognition approach that will identify and classify specific cyber attack scenarios.

Looking forward to partnering with the Army Research Office, Paschalidis said, “This collaboration will provide us with real examples of attacks we can leverage to improve our methods.”

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