School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Explore our interdisciplinary cyber security research

Secure quantum communications

Experts from the School of Mathematics and Physics (SMP) and School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) are addressing the fundamental and applied scientific challenges of quantum key distribution, error correction protocols, quantum alphabets, security in higher-dimensional quantum systems and post-quantum cryptography.


Secure communications for space

Experts from SMP, Faculty of Engineering Architecture and IT (EAIT), and the Centre for Policy Futures are working on the policy and technical aspects of cyber security and secure communications for space systems. From mission control centres to satellites, we are understanding and addressing the cyber security risks for the sector and implications for national security. We are also engineering next-generation resilient, secure communication protocols and systems suitable for space deployments.


Cyber autonomy and automation

Together with AusCERT, large IT multinationals, and cloud service providers, researchers are working on next-generation solutions that teach computers how to discover their own vulnerabilities, and automatically patch or heal themselves. This involves application of artificial intelligence (machine learning and AI planning) techniques, and automating cyber security tools and incident response workflows. The goal is to be able to equip human administrators with the tools they need to reduce the time taken between discovering and remediating vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure.


Internet of things (IoT) and cyber physical security

Along with AusCERT and energy and critical infrastructure sectors, experts from UQ’s cyber security, cyber physical systems and power and energy systems groups, UQ humanities researchers and industry partners, Siemens and Redback Technologies, are working on addressing cyber security risks and challenges, and proposing new solutions and resillient communication protocols across the energy, industrial control systems, industrial internet of things (IIoT), internet of things (IoT), drones and wireless sensor networks.


Data privacy and user data control

Experts from the School of ITEE and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) (Criminology, Political Science) are working on the technical, ethical and policy challenges around data control and privacy. Researchers are working with international partners on data accountability, data provenance tracking, cyber attack attribution, privacy-preserving algorithms, homomorphic encryption, encrypted search, and a data ‘kill switch’ for online and cloud computing users. Researchers are also working with indigenous data sovereignty experts from Australia and New Zealand.


Cyber law and ethics

Experts from the HASS, TC Beirne School of Law, ITEE and the Criminology department are researching on domestic and international laws and ethical norms addressing cyber security, cyber crime, data privacy, mandatory data breach disclosures, encryption, social media, bots and the application of artificial intelligence.  Researchers analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of legislative frameworks and identify gaps in the domestic and international settings.


Secure software engineering

Together with partners such as the Defence Science and Technology (DST), researchers in formal methods and secure software engineering from ITEE are working on solutions which enable the detection and reduction of security vulnerabilities arising in complex, interconnected software systems, and developing interactive and automated tools to assist with identifying and analysing such vulnerabilities. This work includes enabling secure software development via the use of programming languages customised for analysis with fully automatic tools.


National security and cyber policies

Engaging with leading thinktanks, policy advisors, legislators and key government agencies, experts from the Centre for Policy Futures, ITEE, HASS and the School of Law are quantitatively and qualitatively researching the impact and effectiveness of policies addressing national security, foreign affairs, cyber security, regional and international coordination, and the global cyber security skills shortage.


Cyber criminology

Together with leading Australian and international law enforcement agencies, experts from HASS (Criminology), TC Beirne School of Law, and ITEE are researching crime prevention and intervention techniques, policies and building crime fighting tools (e.g. visualization, cyber crime attribution) which can be applied into cyber and cyber-enabled crime. The group is also focused on addressing the skills gaps faced by frontline officers, and researching into the understanding and deanonymizing criminal activities on social media platforms and the Dark Web.

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