Visible to the public System Science of SecUrity and REsilience (SURE) - Kickoff Meeting

SoS Newsletter- Advanced Book Block

System Science of SecUrity and REsilience (SURE)

Laurel, MD
28 October 2014

On October 27, 2014 researchers from four universities--Vanderbilt, Hawai'I, California-Berkeley, and MIT--met to kick off the System Science of SecUrity and REsilience for Cyber-Physical Systems (SURE) project. SURE is an NSA-funded project aimed at improving scientific understanding of resiliency, described as having the attributes of functional correctness by design, robustness to reliability failures or faults, and survivability against security failures and attacks. Water distribution and traffic control architectures were offered as examples of the types of cyber physical systems to be examined.

According to Xenofon Koutsoukos, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt University, the Principle Investigator (PI) for SURE, "The project aims to equip CPS designers and operators with theory-based comprehensive tools that improve resilience against faults and intrusions, and also enable designers to make security decisions and allocate resources in a decentralized manner."

The research problems and questions to be addressed include:

  • Risk Analysis and Incentive Design
    • How can the collection of agents in CPS deal with strategic adversaries?
    • How can strategic agents contribute to CPS efficiency and safety, while protecting their conflicting individual objectives?
  • Resilient Monitoring and Control
    • What are the control architectures that can improve resilience against intrusions and faults?
    • What types of dynamics can provide inherent robustness against impacts of faults and cyber-attacks?
    • What are the physics-based invariants that can be used as "ground truth" in intrusion detection?
  • Decentralized Security
    • How can we design systems that are resilient even when there is significant decentralization of resources and decisions?
  • Formal Reasoning about Security in CPS
    • How do we formally and practically reason about secure computation and communication?
  • Integrative Research and Evaluation
    • How do we integrate and evaluate cyber & physical platforms and resilient monitoring & control architectures?
    • How do we interface and support human decision makers?

The research challenges facing the team include such problems as spatio-temporal dynamics, multiple strategic interactions with network interdependencies, inherent uncertainties in both public & private systems, and tightly coupled control and economic incentives.

In addition to Professor Koutsoukos as PI, the SURE research team includes Saurabh Amin (MIT), Anthony Joseph (UC Berkeley), Gabor Karsai (Vanderbilt), Dusko Pavlovic (U. of Hawaii), Larry Rohrbough (UC Berkeley), S. Shankar Sastry (UC Berkeley), Janos Sztipanovits (Vanderbilt), Claire Tomlin (Vanderbilt), Peter Volgyesi (Vanderbilt) Yevgeniy Vorobeychik (Vanderbilt), and Katie Dey (Vanderbilt) - Outreach.



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