Dr. Xueping Liang (Information Systems and Supply Change Management) received new funding from the Office of Naval Research for the project “Cybersecurity Research on Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing Applications for Tomorrow’s Workforce in STEM.”
The objective of this project is to train the next generation workforce for the United States Defense industry through an enhanced research experience for undergraduate ROTC students. The training will focus on cybersecurity research for distributed systems and cloud computing platforms, by investigating new trends as well as the integration of innovative technologies into existing infrastructures. UNC Greensboro plans to develop security and performance metrics to evaluate the security and resilience of the distributed systems and decentralized architectures by analyzing the security vulnerabilities and attack surfaces in the technology adoption, while maintaining a resilient and trustworthy supply chain and logistics mechanisms in the military and battlefield application scenarios.
The training will involve 10 undergraduate students selected from the ROTC program with the support of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 605 Commander at North Carolina A&T State University. Two UNCG faculty members will be responsible for the research training of two undergraduate research groups covering ten proposed projects. Each project will be explored by the student under the guidance of a faculty member as well as a graduate student on a weekly basis. Research is to be conducted utilizing a multi-disciplinary method, covering the intersection of Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Management. The main research goal is to investigate and develop new methodologies and architecture with the integration of the latest advancements in technology – Internet of Things (IoT); Artificial Intelligence; and Blockchain-based technologies. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to conduct high-level cybersecurity research after completing the guided training. Research topics range from IoT and edge computing, attack surface analysis, cloud computing security, the recent pandemic, data protection and control, as well as the strategic adoption of blockchain technology in the financial, healthcare and Supply chain sectors. Our training program will develop and structure the research capabilities of undergraduates in several key cybersecurity areas of interest and further enhance their capabilities by extending their cybersecurity skillsets to include blockchain technology, cryptographic and cloud computing applications. Developing a comprehensive research program among a diverse group of students with a varied background in STEM majors will have a tremendous impact on DoD-relevant research and education. This will provide numerous benefits to the Defense industry by preparing tomorrow’s workforce to explore nascent technology and their potential applications from a cybersecurity-oriented perspective.