Technologies of Cyber Security, Information Assurance and Situational Awareness

Our work in in this area looks at the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. It also looks at challenges of information assurance.

This research area includes predominatly technical issues, although some of these have a human-centric focus. Elements of our work include  include:

  • Mapping cyber interdependencies
  • resilience standards
  • Application security
  • Information security
  • Network security
  • Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
  • End-user education
  • Information assurance in big data
  • technologies of decision-making under pervasive insecurity

A broad aim of our work is to conduct leading edge research focused on systems aspect of cybersecurity, privacy and trust (software, hardware and networking) to be benefit of end users and organisations. Current applications of this research include quality control in crowd source services, analytics for cloud services security, processes management for federated cloud services. This brings together researchers with expertise in participatory sensing, mobile networking, network architectures and protocols, focusing on quality-of-service, security, and the Internet-of-Things.We also pay considerable attention to key critical sectors, such as electric power, other utilitlies, finance, banking, transportation, military and telecommunications. Because the internet's underlying structure protocols and governance can be attacked by intruders - and there have been many cyber-attacks in recent years - the vital field of 'computational intelligence' has been adopted to tackle this problem.

We also address the challenge of pervasive dynamic security and mission continuity under conditions of escalating cyber attack, either in military or civil infrastructure domains. In particular, we look at how a middle sized power like Australia can marshal ICT expertise from within its own sovereign enterprise and outside it to respond to persistent and escalating cyber threats of the more serious kind that rely on novel attack vectors. While we can assume that the need for this is well understood in Australian military, defence and intelligence circles, there are many challenges in practical implementation that may involve significant interaction with sovereign and non-sovereign private sector actors, including their technical specialists. In important parts of Australia’s critical infrastructure outside of immediate government control, the challenges may be even more serious. Outside of the traditional national security agencies, how does Australia position itself effectively for relevant and responsive capability in cyber science and technology that can underpin resilience in cyber space and in those sectors of the economy that may be affected by sustained and serious cyber attack? ACCS has launched a five-year research agenda on "Resilience in Critical Infrastructure under Sustained Cyber Attack".