Following on from the research undertaken as part of my first mini project, my PhD will investigate to what extent we can apply social network analysis techniques to various types of communication data in order to identify influential players within a network. This in turn will allow us to identify any potential insiders within an organisation by highlighting those individuals that have greater influence than their role entails and the results can be combined with other indicators obtain from other means, including both technical and psychological metrics. The end result will be an expansion of the tool support created as part of the mini project, which will allow users to navigate their way through a communication network and highlight individuals of interest.
A full summary of my research can be seen here.
As part of my course, I conducted two Mini Projects. The first was entitled Applying Social Network Analysis to Security and the second is designed to Designing a cybersecurity curriculum for South Africa.
These diverse projects allowed me to build upon my technical skills developed through my time as an an undergraduate whilst applying them in a new domain.
The Social Network Analysis mini project in turn developed the foundation for my main PhD Thesis.
During my time as a Research intern for Oxford University's Cyber Security Group, my initial work was to explore the effects of PII propogation across cyberspace. During this work, we were able to highlight the ease ar which we can use previously obtained PII to establish new PII with varying degrees of accuracy and ease. The work culmilated with the creation of a Data Reachability Model (DRM) that highlights all inferences possible at a particular moment in time as well as a tool that allows the user to decide which data points they will attempt to achieve first as well as the likely success rate of that inference.
My Masters project involved redefining the currently existing "accuracy" and "ease" dimension and splitting these dimensions into 8 dimensions to help reflect the complexity of performing such a transformation. These additional sub-dimensions allowed us to clearly express the difficulty criteria and also allowed us to create personalised profiles for analysts depending on their ability and resources available. This was combined with further development of the tool support to allow for a more personalised use.
During the summer of 2013, I joined the newly developed Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre held at the Oxford Martin School. The work involved creating the initial scoping work for Dimensions 3 and 5 which involved conducting research into currently existing technological standards in Cybersecurity across developed and developing Countries (including Computer Emergency Response Teams) as well as investigating current Cyber Security Educational techniques used in order to improve the Cyber Literacy of nation's citizens and industries.