paper: Context Sensitive Access Control in Smart Home Environments

May 30th, 2020

Context Sensitive Access Control in Smart Home Environments


Sofia Dutta, Sai Sree Laya Chukkapalli, Madhura Sulgekar, Swathi Krithivasan, Prajit Kumar Das, and Anupam Joshi, Context Sensitive Access Control in Smart Home Environments, 6th IEEE International Conference on Big Data Security on Cloud, May 2020

The rise in popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has opened doors for privacy and security breaches in Cyber-Physical systems like smart homes, smart vehicles, and smart grids that affect our daily existence. IoT systems are also a source of big data that gets shared via the cloud. IoT systems in a smart home environment have sensitive access control issues since they are deployed in a personal space. The collected data can also be of a highly personal nature. Therefore, it is critical to building access control models that govern who, under what circumstances, can access which sensed data or actuate a physical system. Traditional access control mechanisms are not expressive enough to handle such complex access control needs, warranting the incorporation of new methodologies for privacy and security. In this paper, we propose the creation of the PALS system, that builds upon existing work in an attribute-based access control model, captures physical context collected from sensed data (attributes), and performs dynamic reasoning over these attributes and context-driven policies using Semantic Web technologies to execute access control decisions. Reasoning over user context, details of the information collected by the cloud service provider, and device type our mechanism generates as a consequent access control decisions. Our system’s access control decisions are supplemented by another sub-system that detects intrusions into smart home systems based on both network and behavioral data. The combined approach serves to determine indicators that a smart home system is under attack, as well as limit what data breach such attacks can achieve.


PhD proposal: Sandeep Nair Narayanan, Cognitive Analytics Framework to Secure Internet of Things

November 26th, 2016

cognitive car

Dissertation Proposal

Cognitive Analytics Framework to Secure Internet of Things

Sandeep Nair Narayanan

1:00-3:30pm, Monday, 28 November 2016, ITE 325b

Recent years have seen the rapid growth and widespread adoption of Internet of Things in a wide range of domains including smart homes, healthcare, automotive, smart farming and smart grids. The IoT ecosystem consists of devices like sensors, actuators and control systems connected over heterogeneous networks. The connected devices can be from different vendors with different capabilities in terms of power requirements, processing capabilities, etc. As such, many security features aren’t implemented on devices with lesser processing capabilities. The level of security practices followed during their development can also be different. Lack of over the air update for firmware also pose a very big security threat considering their long-term deployment requirements. Device malfunctioning is yet another threat which should be considered. Hence, it is imperative to have an external entity which monitors the ecosystem and detect attacks and anomalies.

In this thesis, we propose a security framework for IoTs using cognitive techniques. While anomaly detection has been employed in various domains, some challenges like online approach, resource constraints, heterogeneity, distributed data collection etc. are unique to IoTs and their predecessors like wireless sensor networks. Our framework will have an underlying knowledge base which has the domain-specific information, a hybrid context generation module which generates complex contexts and a fast reasoning engine which does logical reasoning to detect anomalous activities. When raw sensor data arrives, the hybrid context generation module queries the knowledge base and generates different simple local contexts using various statistical and machine learning models. The inferencing engine will then infer global complex contexts and detects anomalous activities using knowledge from streaming facts and and domain specific rules encoded in the Ontology we will create. We will evaluate our techniques by realizing and validating them in the vehicular domain.

Committee: Drs. Dr. Anupam Joshi (Chair), Dr. Tim Finin, Dr. Nilanjan Banerjee, Dr. Yelena Yesha, Dr. Wenjia Li, NYIT, Dr. Filip Perich, Google


Context-Sensitive Policy Based Security in Internet of Things

April 18th, 2016

Prajit Kumar Das, Sandeep Nair, Nitin Kumar Sharma, Anupam Joshi, Karuna Pande Joshi, and Tim Finin, Context-Sensitive Policy Based Security in Internet of Things, 1st IEEE Workshop on Smart Service Systems, co-located with IEEE Int. Conf. on Smart Computing, St. Louis, 18 May 2016.

According to recent media reports, there has been a surge in the number of devices that are being connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT), also referred to as Cyber-Physical Systems, is a collection of physical entities with computational and communication capabilities. The storage and computing power of these devices is often limited and their designs currently focus on ensuring functionality and largely ignore other requirements, including security and privacy concerns. We present the design of a framework that allows IoT devices to capture, represent, reason with, and enforce information sharing policies. We use Semantic Web technologies to represent the policies, the information to be shared or protected, and the IoT device context. We discuss use-cases where our design will help in creating an “intelligent” IoT device and ensuring data security and privacy using context-sensitive information sharing policies.