Cullen School of Engineering

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Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
N308 Engineering Building 1
Houston, Texas 77004-4005
Phone: 713-743-4400
Fax: 713-743-4444
Department: ece [at] egr [dot] uh [dot] edu
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Data Security

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Though it’s a cliché to say something’s importance can’t be overstated, in some cases it’s absolutely true. One such case is data security. Utilities, financial markets, health care and on and on and on…all are digitized and so all are completely dependant on secure data systems.

While traditional encryption techniques remain an essential aspect of modern data security, that technology has largely matured. At the same time, extremely high computing power capable of cracking heavily encrypted files is becoming more widely available. As a result new approaches to data security must be developed. At the Cullen College’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, researchers are conducting data security research in two areas

Quantum cryptography

Quantum cryptography, which uses photons of light as quantum objects to encode and decode messages over fiber networks and is literally impossible to crack.

Signal Processing-Based Data Security

Signal Processing-Based Data Security, which analyzes signals from data networks to enhance security and/or identify risks. The projects in this area include:

  • Physical layer security, an alternative to encryption that uses channel variation and information theory
  • Trust management for distributed nodes, which evaluates the behavior of system users
  • Belief propagation, allowing data network security systems to efficiently share their opinions on whether a particular user or node is a threat
  • Device “fingerprinting” for wireless devices
  • Smart grid security, to protect the efficient, managed power grids of the future from the introduction of false information that could damage grid performance.