Winter 2016– Volume IX, Issue 2 NSPAA Voice - Page 18

HBCUs Latest Extramural Awards Morgan State University Cybersecurity Team Receives National Science Foundation Award Morgan State University was awarded a $999,450 research grant to a research team, Drs. Kemi Ladeji-Osias, Willie Thompson, III, Kofi Nyarko, and Michel Reece led by Dr. Kevin T. Kornegay by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (RISE) award is used to fund the Morgan team’s “Embedded System Security via Reverse Engineering and Countermeasures” project— an initiative addressing security and data integrity issues that can threaten processing systems embedded in every electronic device. These are systems such as the smart gas or electric meters in your home or electronic gaming that, together, make up what is called the “Internet of Things” (IoT). The Internet of Things (IoT), is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided unique identifiers such as an Internet protocol (IP) address and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, sensors, and the Internet. Things in the IoT can be a person with a wireless heart implant, a smart power meter, an automobile with OnStar, an animal with a biochip transponder, a plant with an RFID tag, an Ethernet wired network device (e.g. switch, router, firewall, etc.) or any other object that can be assigned an IP address and equipped with a means to transfer data over a network. As the IoT continues its evolution, the number of things and the upstream data associated with them, present new concerns particularly regarding security. Current solutions address IoT security at upper layers of the open systems interconnection (OSI) model such as the application, transport, network, or data link layers but there exists a unique opportunity at the physical layer. Addressing security much earlier at the physical layer of the OSI stack allows for the formation of a security perimeter at the physical boundary as opposed to the upper layers. Hence, the proposed research focuses on IoT device vulnerability assessment, countermeasures, authentication, and intrusion detection. Countermeasures are necessary to secure an IoT device’s ability to withstand cyber-attacks, and sustain or recover functionality. The research presented in this proposal will build on the existing research competency of department faculty, while allowing us to develop expertise in physical layer cyber security, increase research productivity, attract new faculty, and contribute further to the production of underrepresented students with doctoral degrees in engineering. 111122219191919191919192/5/2016 2/5/201619191919191919191919 19