Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Experts in anthropology and cybersecurity are examining the unspoken knowledge shared by cybersecurity analysts as a way to develop new automated tools that help analysts strengthen their cyber defenses.

Experts in anthropology and cybersecurity at Kansas State University are examining the unspoken knowledge shared by cybersecurity analysts as a way to develop new automated tools that help analysts strengthen their cyberdefenses.

Xinming "Simon" Ou, associate professor of computing and information sciences, and Mike Wesch, associate professor of anthropology, recently received nearly $700,000 from the National Science Foundation to fund a three-year project that takes an anthropological approach to cybersecurity. Data will be used to develop algorithms for improved cybersecurity.

Ou and Wesch, along with Sathya Chandran Sundaramurthy, India, and Yuping Li, China -- both doctoral students in computing and information sciences -- are working alongside analysts in the university's office of information security and compliance. The researchers are using anthropological techniques to understand how analysts perform their job duties. These techniques help them learn tacit knowledge rather than traditional formal knowledge about the job duties and manpower requirements for security operations centers.

"Tacit knowledge is the knowledge that we have about something that we can't verbalize," Wesch said. "You cannot walk into a New Guinea village and just ask people what their culture is. You have to live it and experience it to understand it."

Researchers will translate this tacit knowledge into algorithms that will speed up various tasks and job duties performed by the analysts. For example, it takes a professional analyst between five and six minutes to find the Internet Protocol address and physical location of a computer that has been compromised by viruses and malware. An algorithm could complete the process in five to six seconds.

"We'd like to automate the boring, repetitive part of the tasks that aren't heavily reliant on human intelligence but are more about humans doing them because they do not have better tool support," Ou said. "That would free analysts to concentrate on the more complex tasks, such as investigating more large-scale, sophisticated attacks and plugging potential security holes in a network."

The lack of understanding of the tacit knowledge in cybersecurity may be why so few commercial and open-source support tools are available to help cybersecurity analysts understand an attack in detail, Ou said. Often the tool developers do not understand the job and time requirement of security analysis, which limits the ability for them to design useful algorithms for these tools. As a result, finding information such as how the attacker got into the system and what data was compromised and damaged is a very labor-intensive process.

"A network is bombarded with attacks all of the time, and many of those attacks themselves are automated," Wesch said. "We're trying to automate parts of the defense."

In addition to streamlining the repetitive tasks, researchers said their findings about what is needed for comprehensive cybersecurity analysis in this unique collaboration will lead to better training and education for the field.

"We're ultimately building something like a conceptual model of how cybersecurity actually works, not just how it should work from a researcher's perspective," Wesch said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. The original article was written by Greg Tammen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107103406.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2013, November 7). Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107103406.htm
Kansas State University. "Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107103406.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins