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Jonsson School Distinguished Lecture Series Presents Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham


Secure Data Management: Foundations, Systems and Applications

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham
Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research Institute at The University of Texas at Dallas

Friday, April 27, 2018
TI Auditorium – ECSS 2.102 at 11:00 a.m.
(refreshments at 10:45 a.m.)


ABSTRACT: The collection, storage, manipulation and retention of massive amounts of data have resulted in serious security and privacy considerations. For example, even if personally identifiable information is removed from the data, when data is combined with other data, an individual can be identified. This is essentially the inference and aggregation problem that data security researchers have been exploring for the past three decades. This problem is exacerbated with the management of big data as different sources of data now exist that are related to various individuals. While collecting massive amounts of data causes security and privacy concerns, big data analytics applications in cyber security is exploding. For example, an organization can outsource activities such as malware analysis and insider threat detection to the cloud. This is because massive amounts of data are being collected for such applications and this data has to be analyzed. The question is, how can the developments in big data management and analytics techniques be used to solve security problems?

To address the challenges of data security and privacy as well as big data analytics for cyber security applications, I have been conducting research in this field for over 32 years while at Honeywell, Inc., The MITRE Corporation, the National Science Foundation and now at The University of Texas at Dallas. This presentation will discuss my journey in Secure Data Management. First, I will provide an overview of the developments in secure data management including my research contributions and then focus on my research in designing and developing one of the premier secure database systems, Lock Data Views, and subsequently proving the unsolvability of the inference problem. Second, my research contributions to Secure Data Science will be discussed. This will include the techniques I have developed with our cyber security team on stream data analytics for cyber security applications as well as our pioneering contributions to adversarial machine learning where the attacker’s behavior is taken into consideration when designing machine learning techniques. Finally, the presentation will conclude with the challenging research problems we are faced with today including security and social media analytics.

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham is the Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Executive Director of UTD’s Cyber Security Research and Education Institute since October 2004. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at Kings College, University of London (2015-2018) and a New America Cyber Security Policy Fellow (2017-2018). Her current research is on integrating cyber security and data science. Prior to joining UTD she worked at the MITRE Corporation for 16 years including a three-year stint as a Program Director at the NSF. She initiated the Data and Applications Security program at NSF and was a member of the Cyber Trust theme. While at MITRE she was a department head and was also a technical advisor to the DoD, the NSA, the CIA, and the IRS. Prior to that, she worked for the commercial industry for six years including at Honeywell, Inc. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the IEEE CS 1997 Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE ISI 2010 Research Leadership Award, ACM SIGSAC 2010 Outstanding Contributions Award, SDPS 2012 Transformative Achievement Gold Medal, 2013 IBM Faculty Award, ACM CODASPY 2017 Innovative and Lasting Research Contributions Award, IEEE CS Services Computing 2017 Research Innovation Award, and Dallas Business Journal 2017 Women in Technology Award. She is a 2003 Fellow of the IEEE and the AAAS and a 2005 Fellow of the British Computer Society. She has published over 120 journal articles, 250 conference papers, 15 books, has delivered over 130 keynote and featured addresses, and is the inventor of six US patents. She has chaired/co-chaired top tier conferences including the Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) 2016, ACM CCS 2017, and is serving as the Program co-Chair for IEEE ICDM 2018. She received her PhD at the University of Wales, Swansea, UK, and the earned higher doctorate (D. Eng) from the University of Bristol, England, UK for her published research in secure data management.

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