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Security

A Knowledge Base for Microgrid Security Risk Analysis

Through a team of students from the Masters of Software Engineering ME (Software), we started the design and implementation of the first phase of our solution aimed at providing a knowledge-based support for Microgrid security risk analysis. The project was motivated by an increasing realisation that a large number of energy systems are made of multiple sources of energy generation and distribution. Now more and more energy distribution companies are focused on solutions with two-ways of energy movement – energy supply from the energy distribution companies from their conventional or smart grids or energy supply from small, independent energy generators through Microgrids. Whilst a Microgrid provides promising solutions for modernising energy solutions aimed at addressing contemporary challenges, there are several types of challenges involved in designing, building, and operating Microgrids integrated into an energy ecosystem.Read More »A Knowledge Base for Microgrid Security Risk Analysis

Modeling Security-Sensitive Architecture of Systems-of-Systems

An increasing number of software systems are considered Software Intensive Systems of Systems (SiSoS), which consist of dozens of constituent systems. Systems are interconnected using private or public networks, which can be prime target for security attacks. Hence, securing SiSoS is a huge challenge and an emerging areas of research and development. SoS can have several applications domains that can range from smart cities, to defence systems, and industrial control systems. Modeling of and reasoning of security-sensitive architecture of software intensive systems is a challenging piece of work but several modelling approaches and tooling support have been developed. However, there has been no signifiant effort to develop appropriate modelling approach and associated infrastructure for modeling security-senstive architecture of SoS. Led by our collaboratives in France, we have recently developed an approach and tool support for supporting seccutiry-senstive architecture design and analysis .Read More »Modeling Security-Sensitive Architecture of Systems-of-Systems

Systemization of Knowledge about Architecting Cloud-Based Systems

We have been expanding our research on engineering systems with/for Cloud based infrastructures. One of the key challenges of engineering cloud-based systems is designing and evaluating appropriate architectures. Being a relatively new area, knowledge about designing and evaluating cloud-based systems is scarce and but growing. We observed the need of systematically identifying and synthesizing the knowledge about the architectural challenges and solutions for cloud-based systems. For this goal, we used systematic literature review, a well known method of Evidence Based Software Engineering.

I am very glad to share that after several months rigours and tireless efforts, we have published our work in a premier Software Engineering journal, Software: Practice and Experience. The paper can be found on this link and the abstract of the paper is below:Read More »Systemization of Knowledge about Architecting Cloud-Based Systems

Smart Cities: Cyber Security and Privacy

Whilst the “Smart City” phenomenon is increasingly becoming a popular term among almost all circles of everyday life, the real progress on conceiving, devising, deploying and evolving services for “Smart City” remains slow. Governments, councils, and private sectors appear to be finding different ways of capitalising on the popularity and potential of “Smart City” phenomenon to address the challenges of increasing urbanisation. However, citizens and civil rights groups remain skeptical about the potential privacy violations of the data that need to be captured and analysed for providing the “Smart City” services and the security aspects those services in the face of persistent cyber attacks. And these two concerns are some of the biggest issues in the success of a “Smart City” initiative. Recently, our “Smart City” initiative was covered by the Guardian news paper and the ABC News and both of the media venues focused on the privacy issues involved in the “Smart City” projects.

Read More »Smart Cities: Cyber Security and Privacy

Smart Campus: Model Driven Security for Systems of Systems

Socio-technical systems underpinning smart and connected cities are good examples of systems of systems – where each constituent system act and behave independents but these systems are connected with each other and provide each other different services. Security is one of the key aspects of systems of systems, e.g., smart city systems or smart campus systems. It is extremely complex and challenging undertaking to model and analyse a secure systems of systems. Model Driven Engineering (MDE) is expected to bring much needed support to bring effectiveness and efficiency in terms of automating some of the tedious and error-prone tasks. To support a MDE approach to secure smart cities systems, we need appropriate meta-models and suitable tools that can convert the meta-models in graphical editors that can support the modelling and analysis of secure smart cities applications. In collaboration with researchers from France, we have been working on a project aimed at developing graphical editors and model cases of secure systems in a smart cities, or smart campus. Apart from senior researchers from Adelaide and France, Zi Yang Pang has been working on summer scholarship on this project. The project has the following goals and scope and we are hoping to apply the meta-model language for secure smart cities systems very soon and afterwards we plan to extend the tools to provide end-to-end support. Read More »Smart Campus: Model Driven Security for Systems of Systems

Smart Campuses – Experimental Platforms for Smart Cities

Smart Cities initiatives are gaining popularity in almost every corner of the World – increasing urbanisation and myriad of socio-economic challenges are forcing governments and public sector organisations to leverage Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for conceiving and materialising innovative solutions for socio-economic challenges under a broad umbrella of Smart Cities. Since Smart Cities initiatives present significant socio-technical challenges, Smart Campuses can be leveraged as Test and Experimentation Platforms (TEPs) for devising, deploying, and evaluating theories and applications for Smart City services. That means Smart Campuses can become suitable living labs for solutions that may find their ways for smart city initiatives. For our Smart Cities initiative, we have been working on developing and implementing a few projects related to Smart Campus at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Most of our projects will be conceived and designed in close collaboration with all the key stakeholders (e.g., students, staff, and management) and leveraging our knowledge and expertise in engineering software intensive systems using Internet of Everything (IoEs), Big Data, and Cloud Computing. We have identified some of the potential benefits of building a Smart Campus below. Read More »Smart Campuses – Experimental Platforms for Smart Cities

Secure and Scalable Private Cloud for Defence Systems

Following on the successful completion of our collaborative project on building and evaluating private cloud for defence systems, our second project is on building and evaluating secure and scalable private cloud using container technologies. For our projects, we use Openstack software for private cloud and its related technologies. For evaluating the security and scalability of private cloud infrastructure built using container technologies such as Docker.

This project has been partly motivated by the increasing popularity of contain technologies for virtualization and building private cloud as the container technologies, for example Docker, offer lightweight solutions that can be easily ported to other infrastructures if required, require minimal resources, and instantly spawn a new instance whoever required.Read More »Secure and Scalable Private Cloud for Defence Systems

A New Approach to Identifying Security Requirements

We are delighted to announce that our ongoing collaboration with researchers from Lancaster University and University of Leicester has resulted in an approach to eliciting security requirements. The approach has been published in a recently accepted paper in the premier software engineering conference, the International Conference on Software Engineering to be organised in Austin, USA in 2016. The title and abstract of the accepted paper are: Discovering “Unknown Known” Security Requirements:Read More »A New Approach to Identifying Security Requirements

Smart Campus: Understanding Privacy Concerns of End Users

Like Smart Cities initiatives, smart campus initiatives have also been gaining a significant attention of Universities aimed at bringing optimisation and efficiencies in the operations of Universities and contributing to the sustainability drives. Smart campuses basically utilises the similar (or same in many respects) infrastructures to provide innovative solutions to address socio-techincal challenges and improve students and staff quality of experience. Smart campuses actually can be more readily designed and built as most of the required  Information and communication technologies are usually already present in Universities. Smart campus services are also designed and provisioned using the data gathered from end users through their usage of on campus wifi and other data collection devices. The automatic data collection from the usage and movements of students and staff – however, there has been concerns with regards to the privacy of the students and staff and a term Dataveillance has been used for automatic data collection.Read More »Smart Campus: Understanding Privacy Concerns of End Users

Private Cloud for Defence Systems

Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), An Australian Defence’s R&D organisation,  recognises that Cloud Computing presents new opportunities for more flexible and efficient utilisation of computing resources. We have teamed up with DST’s submarine division’s researchers to build and apply knowledge and competency in designing and experimenting with private cloud infrastructure for combat systems. We are glad to release the report of our first collaborative project. This R&D project aimed at gaining the required knowledge and competency for building and managing a private cloud infrastructure for mission systems in submarine domain. One of the key goals of this project was to explore the technical strengths and limitations of OpenStack cloud software and its related tools for designing and implementing a dynamically reconfigurable Cloud Computing infrastructure. This project has experimentally assessed the strengths and limitations of OpenStack cloud software (such as Rackspace, Mirantis, and DevStack), different virtualisation software (such as KVM and VMware’s ESXi), and baremetal provisioning tools (such as Razor and CloneZilla). Read More »Private Cloud for Defence Systems