Visible to the public SaTC-CCRI: Collaborative Research: Sharing Expertise and Artifacts for Reuse through Cybersecurity CommunityHub (SEARCCH)Conflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Oct 01, 2019 - Sep 30, 2022


University of Southern California


National Science Foundation

Award Number

Cybersecurity research experiments are frequently performed in ad hoc ways, which severely retards scientific progress. Most researchers use a combination of methods and infrastructure to conduct experiments using one-off, painstaking, and error-prone processes that are never shared for reuse and validation. The lack of repeatable, reproducible, and reusable processes and other artifacts limits one's ability to build upon the work of others or to compare solutions. Enabling the community to share and reuse experiment artifacts is crucial to transforming the way cybersecurity research is conducted.

SEARCCH creates a collaborative, community-driven platform that lowers the barrier to sharing by aiding researchers in packaging, importing, locating, understanding, and reusing experiment artifacts. The artifacts organized by the platform, including tools, methodologies, documentation, and data, can be deployed to community testbeds for performing new experiments. Concurrently, SEARCCH engages in outreach activities to build an active, diverse, online community around the hub to enable direct sharing of expertise and crowdsourcing research ideas and experiment design. Through a process of continuous learning and improvement, the hub will grow over time to include collections of artifacts covering a broad range of cybersecurity research topics and add support for newly identified community needs. These activities together will transform the way cybersecurity research is conducted in the cybersecurity community, improving the overall scientific quality of cybersecurity research through validation, repeatable sharing and reuse, and a collective approach to building on research results.

Ms. Benzel is the Director of the Networking and Cybersecurity Division at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. She manages all aspects of the technical research division, acts as a spokesperson in representing projects to funding agencies, and is responsible for the strategic and technical direction of the division. She has a Masters Degree in Mathematics, from Boston University and an Executive MBA from UCLA. Her research interests are in the science of cyber security experimentation and next generation distributed experimentation methodologies. Ms. Benzel is a member of the NSF CISE Advisory Committee, the NSF CISE Committee of Visitors, Sandia National Labs SECURE External Advisory Board, NSF FABRIC Advisory Committee and a member of several private boards. She has testified twice before the U.S. House Committee on Science.

Ms. Benzel has long been involved in IEEE Computer Society Conferences and publications. She was the Vice Chair and Chair of the IEEE Computer Society TC on Security and Privacy from 1992 - 1995 and Treasurer from 2009 - 2012. She served on the organizing committees of the IEEE Security and Privacy (S&P) Conferences since 1988. She has been an Associate Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine since 2009. As a senior member of the editorial board she is responsible for curating special issues highlighting the IEEE Computer Society Conferences including the S&P Conference, the SPW Workshops and the European S&P Conference.

Ms. Benzel was recently elevated to Senior Member standing in the IEEE Computer Society and has received awards and recognition from DHS, USC, and the IEEE Computer Society for Outstanding Community Service and Continuing Service.

Ms. Benzel is one of the founders of the GREPSEC Workshop for women in computer security research, held in conjunction with the IEEE S&P. She has been a senior manager in both industry (VP at McAfee) and academic positions and is a champion for diversity.