Dr. Qin Lin, an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department, has been awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his team's research on cybersecurity of industrial control systems. The project, titled "ERI: Operator-Automation Shared Protection for Security and Safety Assured Industrial Control Systems: Learning, Detection, and Recovery Control", is funded by the NSF's Division of Electrical, Communication and Cyber Systems (ECCS).
Industrial control systems (ICSs) are commonly utilized in critical infrastructure, including power generation, water treatment and distribution, and transportation. However, the increasing digitization of ICSs, involving sensing, communication, and control, brings advanced features but also leaves them vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks. Protecting ICSs from such attacks is crucial to prevent service disruptions and catastrophic physical damage. Dr. Lin's project aims to develop a comprehensive solution, integrating human-on-the-loop explainable machine learning (ML), detection, and recovery control in an operator-automation shared protection framework, to provide security and safety-assured ICSs against malicious cyber-attacks.
The project will incorporate engineering research and education to train students, particularly those from Under-Represented Minorities (URM), and cultivate a diverse, globally competitive cybersecurity workforce. With the goal of lowering barriers to ICS security research and education, this project aims to have a significant impact by providing accessible testbeds for a diverse population of beginning and expert cybersecurity students and engineers to learn and practice.