SWAN Research Team Spotlight: Dr Vaia Kalokidou (Senior Research Associate)

To celebrate the first full year of the SWAN Prosperity Partnership, this spotlight blog series will be taking a deeper dive into the recent work of our postdoctoral researchers, our aligned PhD students, and research team members from across the Partnership.

Next in this series, we spoke SWAN Senior Research Associate, Dr Vaia Kalokidou, about her work on threat analysis and the development of defence and detect techniques to mitigate potential cyber-attacks against wireless networks. 

SWAN Senior Research Associate, Dr Vaia KalokidouWhat are your main research tasks within SWAN and how do these relate to your previous research experience?

My research focuses on cyber-attacks threat analysis for wireless networks and the development of defence and detect techniques to limit those attacks. I have been working on wireless networks for many years, focusing on signal processing, interference management techniques, and physical layer security.

Can you give us a brief overview of the work you have been doing recently and how this relates to the SWAN Prosperity Partnership?

I have been developing a LoRa-WAN MATLAB simulator, in order to evaluate the impact of possible cyber-attacks, such as jamming. I will also be attempting to use detect and defence mechanisms to empower LoRa-WAN security from a physical layer perspective.

Further to this, I am also investigating detect and defence algorithms for a wide range of wireless systems. All of this work falls under the SWAN use cases and tasks.

Where does this work fit in with SWAN’s wider Research Challenges?

This work fits within Research Challenges 1 & 2:

  • RC1: Threat Synthesis and Assessment
  • RC2: RF Cyber Detection & Defence

What will be the key outputs of this particular piece of work?

Regarding work on LoRaWAN, results could be compared and bench marked with our LoRa penetration testing facility in the lab.

More generally, development of novel detection & defence techniques will be valuable for the design of more secure and agile future wireless networks.

How have SWAN’s Partners in industry and government been involved in this work package?

Toshiba and Roke have provided their expertise and feedback on different stages of this work, especially in work related to Research Challenge 1 (Threat Synthesis and Assessment).

What are the next steps for this section of research?

The next steps will be to try different attack scenarios and detection & defence algorithms for LoRaWAN. Further down the line, I will most likely be applying the same methods to target other SWAN use cases and technologies.

Can you tell us of one recent publication in the world of communications systems and networks research that has interested you?

Jehad M. Hamamreh, Haji M. Furqan, and Huseyin Arslan, “Classifications and Applications of Physical Layer Security Techniques for Confidentiality: A Comprehensive Survey”, IEEE COMMUNICATIONS SURVEYS & TUTORIALS, VOL. 21, NO. 2, 2019.

Faculty of Engineering Research Showcase - 19th to 23rd April 20021

Faculty Research ShowcaseDr Kalokidou will be delivering a talk on Physical Layer Security in Wireless Networks on Tuesday 20th April 2021 as part of the upcoming University of Bristol Faculty of Engineering Research Showcase. This week-long Showcase from 19th to 23rd April will feature an exciting range of panel events and talks across the Faculty's research themes, including a full schedule on Networks and Security and a Prosperity Partnerships panel event on Friday 23rd April. Book your place to hear more about SWAN and all of the other cutting-edge Engineering research taking place at the University of Bristol.

SWAN Prosperity Partnership

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