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Secure and Trustworthy Systems

The STS engages in high-quality research to analyse and understand novel methods adopted by contemporary threat agents, and designs and develops systems and mechanisms that protect against them. 

Secure and Trustworthy Systems cluster at Birmingham City University

The Secure and Trustworthy Systems (STS) cluster brings together expertise from different strands of cybersecurity (security, privacy, digital forensics, and trust), investigating emerging challenges to achieve secure and trustworthy computing systems that are resilient against malicious threats.

Cutting-edge computing paradigms such as CPS and Internet of Things (IoT) are entering common use but are already being targeted by malicious actors through novel attack vectors and methodologies such as botnets. Mirai, Bashlite and Reaper are some examples of recent botnet attacks targeting cyber-physical systems.

Novel use-cases of such systems include autonomous interaction among devices and systems leading to exciting applications such as connected vehicles, smart grids, and smart cities etc.

However, these pose challenges with respect to trustworthiness of participating nodes as well as privacy of information/content shared within such setting.

The STS engages in high-quality research to analyse and understand novel methods adopted by contemporary threat agents, and designs and develops systems and mechanisms that protect against them.

Through our high-quality research and development activities, we have acquired expertise in developing innovative solutions to novel security challenges to support businesses across diverse application domains.

These include investigating fundamental research challenges in security, privacy, and trust within future networks and systems, including IoT, CPS, 5G networks, cloud & edge computing, and blockchain as well as their application to facilitate business operations.

Areas of activity

  • Security and privacy by design, particularly in large-scale multi-stakeholder CPS
  • Trusted and trustworthy service provision
  • Security implications of emerging technologies including 5G, IoT, AI/ML, big data, cloud/edge computing, containers and blockchains; studying the security vulnerabilities their use introduces and how they may be exploited by attackers; and devising ways to counter them;
  • Improving the operational processes and tools used to protect CPS, detect and diagnose attacks, plan and execute an appropriate response, repair damage, recover to ‘business as usual’, and conduct forensic investigations.
  • Application of cutting-edge advances within machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid secure solutions.
  • Cutting-edge methods and techniques within digital forensics to investigate novel attack vectors and methodologies especially those focused at misusing emerging computing platforms such as interconnected systems.