School of Computing

Dec 6, 2019
11:00 - 12:00
Design Considerations that make a Credible Security Simulation Setup for availability-critical scenarios
School of Computing - Security Group Seminar
Speaker: Dr Uchenna Ani, University College London


The security of availability-critical system infrastructures has become an issue of serious concern due to the security risks enabled by the convergence information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) driven by the quest to improve efficiency and productivity. However, the inability to apply traditional IT security practice to OT type of system further compounds challenges in adequately securing critical systems. To overcome these challenges, and especially without impacting upon live environments, environmental replication using modelling and simulations are widely used to further development and evaluation of security controls. However, how a testbed is designed, and its attributes can directly impact not only on its viability but also its credibility as a whole. Credibility is typically characterised by how the modelled/simulated system and associated research are valued and accepted in the research community. Currently, model/simulation credibility is pursued in a highly subjective manner, which breeds indiscretions and inconsistencies.Through horizon scanning of works that have developed and/or used a form of security simulation model or system virtually or physically to study security contexts for industrial control systems, the seminar aims to shed lights on common design factors that appear recurrent, and which can help build/enhance credibility. Security design objectives, implementation approach, component architectural coverage, functional characteristics, and evaluations; are some key credibility-building factors to be considered. How credibility is supported by identified factors will also be considered. The aim is to provide a pathway for streamlining the process of defining credibility-supporting design requirements to reduce development costs, increase design consistency and efficiency for experimental security research in the growing industrial/internet security domain.


Dr Uchenna Daniel Ani is a Research Fellow at the Department of Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London. He has worked on the Analytical Lenses for Internet of Things Threats (ALIoTT) project under the EPSRC-funded PETRAS Internet of Things (IoT) Research Hub. Dr Ani worked on the use and utility of open source simulators, as well as design and modelling considerations for credible ICS/IIoT Security Simulations to improve cybersecurity of Critical National Infrastructures (CNIs). He is currently involved in the Modelling for Socio-Technical Security (MASS) project under PETRAS 2. MASS explores both social and technical security lens analysis - addressing key technical security problems in adopting IoT in use case critical infrastructure areas while considering how they interact with standards and policy to create safe, secure, practical and future-proof outcomes. He was also a contributor to the PETRAS IoTinControl project. Prior to joining UCL, Dr. Ani completed his PhD Research in Cybersecurity of Industrial Control Systems from Cranfield University. He worked as Lecturer in Computer Science Department at Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria, before starting his PhD in UK. He has an MSc. Degree in Computer Security and Forensics from the University of Bedfordshire in UK, and a B. Tech (Hons) degree in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology Yola, Nigeria (now Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola). Dr. Ani has also worked in the Information Technology Industry undertaking the dual role of an Operations Manager and System/Network Administrator at MICOH NIG LTD, a SME-based IT solutions firm in Nigeria.Dr. Ani is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) of UK, a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET); a member of the Society for Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC); and a member of the International Association of Engineers (IAENG). Dr. Ani has authored and co-authored several academic conference and journal papers, research reports and policy advise documents. He is also a reviewer for some journal papers in the field of Information, Computer and Cyber Security. Dr. Ani's research interests are in Data-driven Cybersecurity, Predictive Cybersecurity, IoT Security, ICS/IoT Security Modelling and Simulations, Cybersecurity Risk Assessment, Human-factor Cybersecurity, Security Metrication, Threat Modelling and Incidence Response, Secure ICS architectures, Computer and Network Security, VoIP and Mobile Security.


Cornwallis South West,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to everyone, especially those interested in cyber security research,


Contact: Jason R.C. Nurse

School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 14/08/2015