Section for Cybersecurity Engineering

Cybersecurity engineering (CSE) focuses on the methods, processes and tools for the design, development and analysis of secure computing systems that are accessible through a network, typically the Internet, often known as cyberspace.

Cybersecurity Engineering
Cybersecurity Engineering section October 2023

The section aims at advancing and combining foundational and applied knowledge in cybersecurity and cryptography to address current and future scientific and societal challenges. We pursue this goal by means of cutting-edge research and research-based teaching.

We conduct both foundational and applied research in a broad range of topics central to the design, development, and testing of next-generation secure computing systems. We educate new generations of engineers, scientists, and IT professionals in everything from the foundations, principles and state-of-the-art methods and technologies needed to address the secure development, deployment, and operation of networked computing systems.

Research areas

Cryptography: Symmetric, Quantum and Post-Quantum

Cryptography is the science of providing and analysing the fundamental algorithms needed for secure communication. It plays a key role in safeguarding security and privacy for today's digitalized and interconnected society.

Advances in cryptanalysis and the development of quantum computers are threatening the security of our currently deployed cryptography. At the same time, newly developed cryptographic protocols can achieve privacy-related objectives far exceeding what is currently deployed. This leads to an increased need for the development of new cryptographic algorithms as well as new techniques for cryptanalysis and security proofs. Our cryptography group has focuses on three core areas:

1. We investigate complex cryptographic algorithms and protocols, from digital signatures up to versatile tools such as multiparty computation. Here, we strive to shed light on the fundamental properties of such algorithms and protocols, and work on more efficient concrete constructions.

2. We develop and analyse symmetric-key cryptographic algorithms with a particular focus on developing novel cryptanalytic techniques. We also develop symmetric cryptographic algorithms with low multiplicative complexity for usage in zero-knowledge proofs, fully-homomorphic encryption and secure multi-party computation.

3. We analyse the security of cryptographic algorithms, from hash functions and block ciphers to public-key encryption and digital signatures, against quantum attacks – also called “post-quantum security". Our work leads to security proofs that reduce the cryptographic attack surface of these algorithms.

Cybersecurity in Pervasive Computing

The evolution of computing from large mainframes to people having personal computers and devices connected to the Internet, has dramatically changed cybersecurity: from closed operating environments to an open cyberspace in which every connected device can be accessed – and therefore hacked - from anywhere on the planet.

Today most networked computing systems can be considered socio-technical systems and the successful defence against cyber-attacks requires taking a broad range of human and technical factors into account: from the general security awareness among agents in an organisation to the proper enforcement of security policies and mechanisms.

Our research focuses on the design, development, and testing of cybersecurity services for networked computing systems. This includes models, policies, and mechanisms to support secure collaboration in open dynamic systems, such as sensor networks, mobile systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). We are especially active in the field of “proactive security”, in particular defensive cyber-deception techniques meant to attract and catch malicious actors by means of deceptive tactics.

Our research also covers intrusion detection, biometric authentication, trust management, malware detection, blockchain, cloud security, IoT/CPS/edge security, botnet monitoring, alert data correlation and machine/deep learning, to mention a few.

Lead researchers

Christian Majenz Associate Professor

Tyge Tiessen Associate Professor

Carsten Baum Associate Professor

Luisa Siniscalchi Assistant Professor (Tenure track)

Lead researchers

Nicola Dragoni Deputy director, head of section, Professor

Weizhi Meng Associate Professor

Emmanouil Vasilomanolakis Associate Professor