Cyberspace, the ubiquitous collection of interconnected IP networks and hosts that has proliferated over the last two decades, has become the nervous system of the country. Healthy functioning of Cyberspace is essential for the proper operation of numerous critical infrastructures, such as telecommunication, energy and transportation. It is also necessary to support the ever-expanding business infrastructure, including commerce and banking. The increasing reliance on Cyberspace has been paralleled by a corresponding increase in the variety, frequency and impact of attacks from a range of assailants. Both commercial companies and government agencies face continuous and increasingly more sophisticated cyber-attacks ranging from data exfiltration and spear phishing to sophisticated worms and logic bombs. The targets include not only computer information systems, but also the network communication infrastructure and power grids. Moreover, commercial companies and government agencies are themselves engaging in information gathering whose implications for privacy are disturbing.
Therefore, there is an increasing need of a concerted and cooperative effort on the part of the government and the private sector to address these attacks and threats. Research and education are the main ways to help detect, react, and reduce the impact of cyber threats and attacks. There is a dearth of educational cyber security programs at universities, despite a very strong demand for qualified graduates. Moreover, Miami’s status as a gateway for international commerce, tourism, and immigration, especially with Latin America, makes it a particularly appropriate host location for a research and education consortium focusing on cyber infrastructure.
FIU Cyber Iniatives
Florida International University (FIU), a public institution of higher education with more than 50,000 students, is the largest Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the continental United States and the largest producer of Hispanic scientific and engineering degrees in the U.S. The two primary drivers in Cyber security are the College of Engineering and Computing and the Applied Research Center. Relying on the expertise and field experience of the University’s outstanding engineering and computing faculty and the applied engineering capabilities of ARC, the University is committed to making cyber security one of our primary research areas in the future. Rather than compartmentalizing these efforts, FIU has promoted development of an interdisciplinary approach with experts from a variety of disciplines. It is currently focusing on smart grid security and network security. Some of the major research areas pursued by FIU faculty are in:
- Cyber Physical System Security
- Malware and Forensics
- Penetration Tools and Resources
- Cybersecurity in social-technical systems.
- Power/energy consumption, and security levels algorithms for real-time systems
- Smart Grid Intelligent agents
- Body Sensor Security
- Unknown Cyber Attack Detection and Identification
- Wireless jamming detection, localization, and avoidance.
- Critical infrastructure security, smart grid software/hardware vulnerability & security.