Visible to the public From Measurements to Security Science: Data-Driven Approach

Project Details

Performance Period

Sep 27, 2021

Ranked 73 out of 118 Group Projects in this group.
1792 related hits.


In security more than in other computing disciplines, professionals depend heavily on rapid analysis of voluminous streams of data gathered by a combination of network-, file-, and system-level monitors. The data are used both to maintain a constant vigil against attacks and compromises on a target system and to improve the monitoring itself. While the focus of the security engineer is on ensuring operational security, it is our experience that the data are a gold mine of information that can be used to develop greater fundamental insight and hence a stronger scientific basis for building, monitoring, and analyzing future secure systems. The challenge lies in being able to extract the underlying models and develop methods and tools that can be the cornerstone of the next generation of disruptive technologies.

This project is taking an important step in addressing that challenge by developing scientific principles and data-driven formalisms that allow construction of dynamic situation-awareness models that are adaptive to system and environment changes (specifically, malicious attacks and accidental errors). Such models will be able (i) to identify and capture attacker actions at the system and network levels, and hence provide a way to reason about the attack independently of the vulnerabilities exploited; and (ii) to assist in reconfiguring the monitoring system (e.g., placing and dynamically configuring the detectors) to adapt detection capabilities to changes in the underlying infrastructure and to the growing sophistication of attackers. In brief, the continuous measurements and the models will form the basis of what we call execution under probation technologies.


Ravishankar K. Iyer, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, and Adam Slagell