By Colin Poitras, UConn Communications
This story originally appeared in UConn Magazine.
Cyberattacks come in all shapes and sizes. Experts say it could be only a matter of time before they pose a real threat to our daily lives. The electronic devices in our world today are interconnected like never before. Our cars are no longer machines but rolling PCs with different components constantly talking to one another. Our watches are telephones. Our telephones are high-speed computers. And with all this increased convenience comes greater vulnerability. In the constant rush to get new products to market, security can be an afterthought.
Fortunately, a crack team of cybersecurity specialists, led by John Chandy, an electrical and computer engineering professor, and Laurent Michel, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, is working to protect our information. UConn’s Comcast Center of Excellence for Security Innovation is advancing research to strengthen the nation’s electronic information networks and training a new generation of hardware, software, and network security engineers to protect the integrity of everything from small consumer electronics to the complex computer systems running our major industrial, financial, and transportation systems.
Secured behind passcode-protected entry doors, the Comcast lab is embedded deep inside one of UConn’s main academic buildings. Getting there can be an adventure.
If you visit the lab via the building’s main door, you must go down a set of stairs, along a long hallway to the rear of the building, then it’s a quick left, quick right, another left, up a ramp, through some fire doors, past the locked doors of several large humming mechanical rooms, another right, another left, yet another right, and finally a quick left and you are there. Or you might be. It’s hard to be sure because there is absolutely no indication of where the lab is on any of the directional office signs. Even next to the lab’s main door there is only a small 9- by 6-inch plaque in letters slightly larger than what you are reading here.