PhD Position in Adaptive Security for Ambient Technology

PhD Position in Adaptive Security for Ambient Technology

From: Jan Ju''rjens <>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 11:45:28 +0100
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OPEN PHD POSITION: Adaptive Security for Ambient Technology
[ ]

Software Engineering and Design / Human-Centered Computing Groups
Computing Department, The Open University, UK

 * Studentship covers all fees and monthly stipend.

The Open University (OU) maintains a highly regarded research base at its central headquarters in Milton Keynes (near London and within one hour from Cambridge and Oxford). The Computing Department is part of the Computing Research Centre. The Software Engineering and Design research group in the Department has a world class research record and reputation in requirements and security engineering; software architecture, design and evolution; automated software engineering; and empirical studies of software development. The Human-Centered Computing research group is an international leader in human-centred computing, working on new frameworks, methods and approaches for studying and supporting people using mobile, ubiquitous and web-based computing technologies in a way that goes beyond the old HCI paradigm.

The PhD project will benefit from the Laboratory for Ambient and Ubiquitous Technologies that will be housed in purpose built facilities from May 2008, and will interact with existing, externally funded research projects, such as:

    * PRiMMA: Privacy Rights Management for Mobile Applications (funded by EPSRC, in cooperation with IBM Research, Imperial College London and others)
    * Verifying Implementations of Security Protocols in C (funded by and in cooperation with Microsoft Research Cambridge)
    * Royal Society Joint International Project on "Relating Security Requirements and Design" with National Institute for Informatics (Tokyo, Japan)
    * Royal Society Joint International Project on model-based security analysis with TU Munich (Germany) 

The PhD Studentship will investigate "Adaptive Security for Ambient Technology (AmbientSec)". The goal is to develop techniques and tools that ensure continuing compliance to security requirements for pervasive systems. More specifically, the focus is on pervasive system devices and their interfaces such as used in modern office environments, and to investigate security issues that may arise in such environments, and how these might be dealt with using available security technology. In particular, the aim is to investigate the notion of "adaptive security" in this context. This will include, for example, questions such as whether security mechanisms may have to adapt to the exact location of an individual in an office building (in the sense of "context-dependent" or "location-based" security). 
We will also consider an extension to the more general scenario of a "virtual office" where people are not necessarily in one physical location but may do their office work e.g. while travelling around. A central focus of this work will be the pervasive interfaces between the human users and the computers, on how to integrate these with the adaptive security mechanisms in a secure way, and to evaluate the efficacy and social acceptability of deploying adaptive security measures in situ. 

The PhD project is jointly supervised by Jan Jürjens, Bashar Nuseibeh, and Yvonne Rogers. Informal enquiries to any of the PhD supervisors are welcome and encouraged. Contact details can be found at the web-site given below.

The start date of the studentship is 1 Oct. 2008. The award will run for 3 years and includes no teaching obligations.

The applicant should have (or expect to have by the start of the scholarship) a good Masters level degree (or comparable) in Computing, Mathematics, or a related field. Experience or strong interest in one or more of the areas of ubiquitous or pervasive systems or IT security would be an advantage.

Applications submitted by 30 April 2008 will receive full consideration. Details on what the application should include, as well as the address to which it should be submitted (as well as more details about the project), are given at: 

Disabled applicants who meet the essential job requirements will be interviewed.  Further particulars are available in large print, disk or audiotape (minicom 01908 654901). The Open University promotes diversity in employment and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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Received on Sun 13 Apr 2008 - 11:45:15 BST