Celebrating “SSL,” the unsung hero of online shopping
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, Americans are spending somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 on retail online. In those mere seconds of time, few thought twice about sharing their credit card numbers with Amazon, or banking routing numbers with PayPal or social security numbers with their banks. We have the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to thank for that.
Biometrics—characteristics about a person unique to them and no one else, such as their fingerprint, their iris, or features in their face—are becoming an increasingly popular method of authenticating a person’s identity.
At the heart of cryptography is creating trust. Strong, robust cryptography allows us to shop online, manage personal finances, and communicate with one another without worrying about criminals stealing our information.
- Formal methods
Software today comes with few, if any, security guarantees. Traditionally, software vendors become aware of vulnerabilities after an attack occurs and then issue a patch that fixes that particular attack. Formal methods may be the key to guaranteeing security from the start.
- Hardware security
Just as software can have exploitable flaws and vulnerabilities, hardware carries similar risks, but with one major setback: while software can be can be patched for millions of users with a click of a button, fixing hardware vulnerabilities requires manual labor and time.
- Machine learning & AI
As the world of “big data” gradually becomes a world of “bigger data,” CyLab researchers are focused on advancing research in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), in which computers can “learn” trends from massive collections of data.
- Network security
As the number of connected devices continues to grow, the security of the networks that connect them all becomes even more important. In many cases, adversaries are able to gain access to any number of devices through an unsecured network.
As a growing number of connected devices are introduced to the world with a goal of improving our quality of life, they also pose a risk of collecting sensitive information about ourselves and invading our privacy.
- Software security
At the heart of countless cyberattacks is a single flaw in the code making up a piece of software. CyLab researchers are advancing the methods in which software bugs are found and fixed in a variety of ways.