World-Leading Research with Real-World Impact!

Philosophy

ICS research is motivated by the two big questions in cyber security:

What does it mean to be secure?

Modern cyber systems involve numerous stakeholders with different, and typically conflicting, security and privacy priorities. Reconciliation of these multiple priorities and allocation of costs, liability and recourse responsibilities is at best an art today. ICS seeks to develop the knowledge, insights and tools necessary to make this process more of a science.

How do we achieve the desired security?

Of equal priority is study of how to achieve the desired security by use of existing security technology where applicable and invention of new security technologies where needed. Progress on these two questions requires collaboration with researchers and practitioners in various application and technology domains. Collaboration is crucial to the ICS research agenda.

Research Excellence

Cyber security research at ICS encompasses four major thrust areas with mutual synergy.

  • Foundations: Core principles, models and theories for cyber security and their translation to practice. ICS researchers have a distinguished record of contributions to cyber security foundations and continued activity in this fundamental arena.
  • Application-Centric: Theory and practice of security for new and emerging application domains. Current projects include:
    • Secure Information Sharing
    • Social Computing Security
    • Infrastructure Assurance
    • Assured Data Provenance
    • Privacy Policies and Enforcement
  • Technology-Centric: Theory and practice of security in context of specific technologies which present novel challenges due to the intrinsic nature of the technology. Current projects include:
    • Trustworthy Cloud Computing
  • Attack-Centric: Theory and practice of malware analysis and detection. Current projects include:
    • Botnet Analysis and Defense

ICS research leaders bring a deep knowledge of cyber security models, architectures, mechanisms and protocols, as well as a deep knowledge of cyber technologies to their research. Past innovations by ICS researchers are widely recognized and practiced in industry. Additionally, ICS researchers have produced significant foundational results with sustained influence in the cyber security research community. ICS can mobilize world-caliber multi-disciplinary teams to address specific research problems utilizing researchers within UTSA and external to UTSA amongst our network of national and international R&D partners, collaborators and friends.

Research Labs

ICS has built and operates two world-class academic research laboratories dedicated to studying current and emerging cyber security issues. Both environments are managed by full-time dedicated technical staff who possess cyber security experience in industry, government, and academia. The laboratories were funded by a $1 million grant from the UT System as part of Professor Ravi Sandhu’s initial recruitment package to UTSA and have received additional support from Dell Computers, Joyent and the United States AFOSR.

ICS FlexCloud

The ICS FlexCloud is one of the first dedicated academic Cloud Computing research environments focused on studying security challenges surrounding Cloud Computing. It offers significant compute capacity and similar design features adopted by Cloud Computing providers.

ICS FlexFarm

The ICS FlexFarm is an Internet connected environment providing researchers with a dedicated platform to conduct academic research on malware programs and methods for improving malware detection, faster response times to malware infections and effective malware removal techniques, with a special focus on botnets.

Publications

Publications by ICS researchers are available at their individual home pages at their discretion.