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Research interests

My research focuses on industrial control systems security for interconnected critical infrastructures, such as water treatment, power grid, automation, etc. My objective is to explore the effects of cascading cyber-attacks on industrial control systems, focusing on the strategies and actions of active adversaries, and propose a framework to enhance the resilience and recovery capabilities of critical infrastructures in the face of complex cyber-attack campaigns.

I expect that my thesis will contribute to knowledge by advancing the research in the field of safety critical systems by shifting the focus from traditional single point failures or disasters to dynamic cyber threats caused by active adversaries. The purpose is to introduce attack strategies and tactics of an intelligent adversary within complex interconnected critical infrastructure systems to create rippling effects mostly unknown and unforeseen. By modeling complex attack scenarios, and measuring the cascading effects, it provides a deeper understanding of vulnerability assessment and system interdependencies. The research focuses on optimizing adversarial attack point with ultimate goal to enhance the resilience and recovery mechanisms of critical infrastructures.

The call to action in the thesis aims to raise awareness to the professionals and academics working on ICS about the security implications of the interdependencies of various systems. Firstly, to highlight the dynamic, rapidly evolving environment of cyber threats to critical infrastructures. The reader should understand that not only the ever changing environment creates new vulnerabilities and pathways for attacks but also the adversary plays a big role to the attack complexity. The active adversary is an entity which needs special attention, and the complexity of the possible attacks need to shift from the traditional simplistic scenarios found in safety systems to more comprehensive understanding of adversarial tactics and strategies in the context of interconnected infrastructures. Additionally, by giving a solution to the problem of attack optimization, the reader delves deeper into the attacker’s techniques and capabilities, while becomes evident the need for proactive measures and resilience enhancement of the critical infrastructure. Finally the call to action is the emphasis on the need for further research, policy development and practical measures to protect critical infrastructures against attacks possible to cascade due to unknown complexities of the ICS environment.

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