Dr. Fehmi Jaafar awarded Public Safety Canada research grant for the Internet of Things

Dr. Fehmi Jaafar from the Department of Information Systems Security and Assurance at the Faculty of Management has been awarded a research grant from the Government of Canada’s Cyber Security Cooperation Program (CSCP) and Concordia University of Edmonton. The total amount of the grant is $20,000 to support a project entitled “Enhanced fingerprinting and identification for Internet of Things (IoT)”.

The goal of this research project is to explore better ways of preventing the exploitation of unsecured digital devices on the Internet by malicious code, as these attacks have the potential to critically disrupt Canada’s vital cyber systems. Although IoT devices are not powerful computers, they can generate massive amounts of bogus traffic to swamp targeted servers. Reducing the likelihood of future disruptions of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks based on IoT involves, among other things, developing an Internet of Things fingerprinting approach that identifies devices actively connected to networks. Exploring the use of a unique electronic fingerprint that each device creates via its physical characteristics can help identify which are legitimate and which may come from potentially malicious sources. The results of this research could be used to enhance the security of healthcare systems as well as networked industrial systems such as oil and gas, manufacturing, water treatment and utilities.

The Cyber Security Cooperation Program, launched in 2014 by the Government of Canada, is a five-year $1.5M initiative in support of Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy. Its mission is to improve security of Canada’s vital cyber systems. The Government of Canada believes that securing the Internet of Things is important and this grant program is part of that effort.

Congratulations, Dr. Jaafar!