Korea Awards Cyber Security Defense Grant to Mason Professors

Angelos Stavrou, director of Mason’s Center for Assurance Research and Engineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering, and J.P. Auffret, director of the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems at the School of Business recently received a $268,000 grant from the Korea Agency for Defense Development (ADD) for a new cyber security consulting project.J.P. Auffret

Stavrou and Auffret have partnered with Brent Kang, a professor in the Cyber Security Systems Research Lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), to provide technical consulting for ADD on test and evaluation methodologies for cyber security technologies they are developing.

The project for the South Korean defense agency takes on even more significance in the wake of the alleged North Korean cyber attacks on Sony last year. Cyber security test and evaluation methodology is a much-needed yet still relatively unexplored area, which has made it difficult for organizations in determining the efficacy and value of technologies.

Angelos Stavrou“Despite the growing demand and rapid development of cyber security technologies, evaluating these technologies and being able to ascertain how effective they are, or comparing the effectiveness of two cyber security technologies, is a major challenge,” explains Auffret. “Companies and organizations are investing in cyber security, but with the field still developing, have difficulty in assessing how secure these technologies are and the benefit of investing in different technologies.”

Stavrou, Auffret and the team are underway with comprehensive research to develop such evaluation methodologies and frameworks with critical qualitative and quantitative metrics. Their current work includes survey and analysis on current methodologies for cyber-attack-resilient and tolerant systems, test scenarios to apply to methodologies, and creation of evaluation criteria specifically for the intrusion tolerant systems under study at ADD.

This Mason-KAIST partnership is promising and very timely as it comes on the heels of the opening of Mason’s new campus in Songdo, Korea. Mason Korea welcomed its first students in fall 2014 and currently offers undergraduate programs in economics, management, and global affairs.

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