Adversarial and Uncertain Reasoning for Adaptive Cyber Defense: Building the Scientific Foundation

Researcher
Peng Liu

Sponsoring Agency
George Mason University

Summary

Today’s cyberdefenses are largely static. They are governed by slow deliberative processes involving testing, security patch deployment, and human-in-the-loop monitoring. As a result, adversaries can systematically probe target networks, pre-plan their attacks, and ultimately persist for long times inside compromised networks and hosts. A new class of technologies, called Adaptive Cyber Defense (ACD), is being developed that presents adversaries with optimally changing attack surfaces and system configurations, forcing adversaries to continually re-assess and re-plan their cyberoperations. Although these approaches (e.g., moving target defense, dynamic diversity, and bio-inspired defense) are promising, they assume stationary and stochastic, but non-adversarial, environments. This research aims to build the scientific foundations so that system resiliency and robustness in adversarial settings can be thoroughly defined, quantified, measured, and extrapolated in a rigorous and reliable manner.

Research Area
Privacy and Security
Social and Organizational Informatics

Term
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