PhD Project in Security in Fog/Edge Computing

DTU Compute
Tuesday 22 May 18

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DTU Compute’s Sections for Embedded Systems Engineering (ESE) would like to invite applications for a 3-year PhD position starting September 1st, 2018. The project is partially financed by the FORA ETN European project.

Our department DTU Compute is an internationally unique academic environment spanning the science disciplines mathematics, statistics and computer science. At the same time we are an engineering department covering informatics and communication technologies (ICT) in their broadest sense. Finally, we play a major role in addressing the societal challenges of the digital society where ICT is a part of every industry, service, and human endeavour.

DTU Compute strives to achieve research excellence in its basic science disciplines, to achieve technological leadership in research and innovation, and to address societal challenges in collaboration with partners at DTU and other academic institutions, nationally and internationally, and, equally important, with industry and organizations. We communicate and collaborate with leading centres and strategic partners in order to increase participation in major consortia.

DTU Compute plays a central role in education at all levels of the engineering programmes at DTU - both in terms of our scientific disciplines and our didactic innovation.

Project Description
To become a reality, Industry 4.0 requires the convergence of Operational and Information Technologies (OT & IT), which are currently separated in a hierarchical pyramid. Fog computing is an evolution of Cloud computing aiming at providing the benefits of the Cloud to the Industrial IoT, in order to facilitate and enable the realization of the IT+OT convergence. In this new paradigm, end-devices, Fog and Cloud form a three layer hierarchical service delivery model which, compared to the Cloud, enable more effective computing closer to the edge of the network.

Being at the intersection between IoT and Cloud, Fog Computing inherits all the security and privacy issues of both paradigms, but these become more critical due to the safety issues of industrial systems.

By extending the Cloud computing model with a “Fog layer” of devices, Fog computing expands the attack surface, as in principle any Fog device could be an entry point for attacking the overall system.

Secure data storage, secure computation, network security, authentication, are all examples of security challenges that need to be addressed to realise the Fog computing vision.

The PhD aims at targeting two basic objectives: 

  1. Analyze the security threats of the Fog Computing infrastructure for Industry 4.0 using use cases from FORA industrial partners.
  2. Develop a security framework that takes advantage of the Fog Nodes and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) as security-enabling devices for the system.

Examples of expected outcome: elicitation/definition of attacker models and attack scenarios for industrial automation when using Fog computing; design a security framework that takes advantage of the Fog Nodes as security-enabling devices for the system; implementation of security services offered by Fog nodes to mitigate the identified security threats, without jeopardizing the operations and safety of the industrial applications; design and implement algorithms for anomaly detection, which use of the available access to data streams to detect attacks.

Requirements
Candidates must have a master degree in computer science, computational science and engineering (CSE), applied mathematics, or engineering, or equivalent academic qualifications. Preference will be given to candidates who can document ability to write technical reports on security-related topics (scientific publications are a plus), and in addition have a background in security in distributed systems, in networking and network security. Furthermore, good command of the English language is essential. Read more about FORA-ETN job-requirements here.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in the DTU Compute PhD School Programme. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Nicola Dragoni, Paul Pop and Jan Madsen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.  

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further Information
Further information concerning the project can be obtained from Associate Professor Nicola Dragoni.  

Further information concerning the application is available at the DTU Compute PhD homepage or by contacting PhD coordinator Lene Matthisson +45 4525 3377.

Application
Applications must be submitted in English as one single PDF, and we must have your online application by 31 July 2018. Please open the link in the red bar in the top of the page: "apply online" (“ansøg online”). Applications must include: 

  • application (letter of motivation)
  • CV
  • documentation of a relevant completed M.Sc. or M.Eng.-degree
  • course and grade list of bachelor and master degrees
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Compute has a total staff of 400 including 100 faculty members and 130 Ph.D. students. We offer introductory courses in mathematics, statistics, and computer science to all engineering programmes at DTU and specialised courses to the mathematics, computer science, and other programmes. We offer continuing education courses and scientific advice within our research disciplines, and provide a portfolio of innovation activities for students and employees.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.