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Integrated Online Information Security Lab for Education and Research

Published: 29 January 2015

The first phase of building an online Information Security (InfoSec) lab is now completed. – The InfoSec lab will most definitely be a strong point for us, says Ali Ismail Awad, Associate Senior lecturer in Information Systems and the InfoSec lab coordinator.

The Information Security (InfoSec) lab is currently divided into four different sections: Computing Facilities (CF) that includes high power servers, and many virtual machines are hosted on the top of that architecture; Networking Security (NS) that has different networking components like routers, switches, and firewalls; hardware and emerging technologies related to Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) platform and Biometric technologies, respectively. Two out of the aforementioned four sections; the high performance computing section and the network security section, are already available on-line for the Information Security Master students. 

– The plan is to use the InfoSec lab for both education and research. In the future, everything is going to be remotely connected and available online. This means that both on-campus and off-campus students will have the opportunity to do practical assignments distantly, says Ali Ismail Awad.

A flavor of the real world 

Meanwhile, the lab provides supports to the courses concerning information security, server security architecture, and content management. Many lab hand-on vary from simple data encryption to more complex operating system hardening, server security attacks and attack mitigation approaches. 

– It is important for our students to be able to do lab assignments. To not only learn things in theory, but also have to test things practically. It gives the students a flavor of the real world, says Ali Ismail Awad. 

– Basically, the InfoSec lab will give the students the opportunity to design and evaluate security scenarios in an isolated environment. It’s a challenge to design assignments that can be done on-line. For example, we have to take the LTU network security, the lab accessibility, and the lab isolation aspects into considerations. 

New possibilities for research 

In terms of research, the plan is to use the InfoSec lab as a controlled environment for testing new security challenges and solutions with respect technical and pedagogical research domains. 

– Two research articles have been conducted using InfoSec lab facilities, and have been published in reputed conferences. We plan to publish more as we keep building up and expanding the lab facilities and functions, says Ali Awad.

 

Contact

Ali Ismail Awad

Ali Ismail Awad, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 493414
Organisation: Information systems, Digital Services and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering