Research plan

Security-Oriented Research in Information Technology 2007 - 2013

Logo FIT VUT

The research is being
carried at Faculty
of Information Technology,
Brno University of Technology

Research group 1Research group 2Research group 3Research group 4Research group 5Research group 6Research group 7

Subject and goal of the research plan

A knowledge-based society, which utilizes modern information technology (IT) in everyday life, is and will be increasingly endangered by intentional as well as involuntary misuse of that technology. In this context, the requirement of security has become of the same importance as the functionality, cost or maintainability even for ordinary applications and systems. Simultaneously, a proper use of information technology offers a great potential for the protection of society against various kinds of threats, including terrorism. Hence the research in information technology from the perspective of security covers a wide spectrum of problems, ranging from solving fundamental issues of mathematically formal nature (e.g., in cryptography) to applied research (e.g., face recognition) utilizing knowledge from diametrically opposite fields (e.g., anthropology). Novel methods and approaches are being investigated and developed in order to protect systems against attackers, to detect and identify attackers, to monitor the behavior of attackers, to collect sensitive information, to eliminate threats, etc.

The significance of security research and security engineering is growing in the world as well as in the Czech Republic. In the EU, such projects are financed by the IST program as a part of the sixth framework program (FP6), in the Program of Work for the Preparatory Action in the Field of Security Research (PASR-2005, 2006), E-SAFE 2005-2008 (secure internet); in the US, DARPA and others finance those programs. In the seventh framework program, security together with information technology is among the priorities. In the Czech Republic, this research direction was identified as crucial by the government resolution in June 1, 2005, in paragraph 661 on Long-term priorities in the research.

The outstanding scientific and research work of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the former Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of Brno University of Technology (BUT) in conjunction with the growing importance of information technology in the society led, among others, to the transformation of this department into a new faculty of BUT specialized in information technology. The new Faculty of Information Technology (FIT) declares in its Long-term plan that the research in information technology with respect to security is its long-term priority. In this area, the faculty has achieved original scientific results, participates in accepted and submitted EU research projects (FP6, PASR) and successfully cooperates with commercial companies and security authorities of the Czech Republic.

In accordance with the Long-term plan of the FIT, the subject of this research plan is the security-oriented research in information technology. This is the only research plan of the FIT. According to the expected growing importance of security in the context of information technology, the proposed research plan is scheduled for seven years. The main goals of the research plan are:

A no less important goal is to strengthen and integrate those research activities in the areas of security of information technology and the utilization of information technology for enhancement of security that the research groups of the FIT have performed separately up to now. In the time scale of the research plan, the goal is to establish the FIT as a leading research and consultation institution in the areas of security of the IT and the utilization of the IT for enhancement of security in the Czech Republic and as a recognized institution in these areas within the EU.

The research plan will mainly be oriented to the following areas of information technology:

As a part of basic research, a proper theoretical framework for the above mentioned areas will systematically be developed, in particular, based on algebra, formal languages theory, system modeling and signal processing.

The results of the project will have the form of new knowledge published in prestigious journals and at international conferences, techniques applicable in computer engineering and demonstration applications in the mentioned areas of information technology that will contribute to solving the current security issues of our society. A complex approach will continually be developed to the design, implementation, installation and maintenance of secure information technology for individuals, objects, institutions, government and business companies.

Sub-goals of the research plan

The following sub-goals were defined on basis of the analysis of the state of the art: