Centre for Cyber Security Research

The Centre for Cyber Security Research (CCSR) develops innovative technologies and methodologies for securing cyberspace in Australia and beyond.

Our capabilities

CCSR has world leading capability in: 

  • Theoretical advances for cyberspace, network and system security
  • New technologies and threat prediction
  • Risk, policy and legal perspectives

We're particularly interested in conducting research in areas such as security and privacy in big data, cloud security, security in social networks, security predictive analytics, cyber physical systems, security and dependability, business applications, trust, privacy and cyber security risks and decision making.

CCSR has a unique cyber security research infrastructure to allow for the analysis of network data for security and privacy purposes. This infrastructure includes physical security laboratories and virtual resources. CCSR also has access to a large amount of security research data, including petabytes of heterogeneous network data collected globally.

Our research

Security and privacy in big data

Theme leader: Professor Wanlei Zhou

Big data is a hot topic, as globally we're generating exponential amounts of information. Big data impacts numerous aspects of our society, including government, finance, security and climate. 

Big data is now becoming so complex that it's beyond the capacity of existing database management tools or traditional data processing applications. 

Currently, most work on big data is focused at a business application and information processing level, such as data mining and analysis. However, big data requires security and privacy support, especially when real time or near real time applications are demanded.

Advancing this support requires issues around performance, structure, security, privacy and risk assessment to be resolved. CCSR carries out original research on security and privacy in big data and how big data can also be utilised for security purposes.

Cloud security

Theme Leader: Professor Jemal Abawajy

Cloud computing provides clients with a virtual computing infrastructure on top of which they can store data and run applications. While the benefits of cloud computing are clear, it introduces new security challenges since cloud operators are expected to manipulate client data without necessarily being fully trusted. Although virtualisation improves efficiency and flexibility, it also introduces new threats. 

We are developing new security technologies for protecting virtual environments. Moreover, we will design novel mechanisms that provide protection levels beyond those of today's non-virtualised systems. 

The current generation of cloud infrastructures do not provide any security against untrusted cloud operators, making them unsuitable for storing sensitive information such as medical records, financial records or high impact business data. To address this, we are carrying out research that ranges from theory to practice, such as security for heterogeneous virtual environments, trust evaluation in cloud evironments and secure cloud storage systems.

Security and privacy in social networks

Theme Leaders: Professor Yang Xiang and Dr Jun Zhang

With their unparalleled popularity, social networks have evolved from platforms for social communication and news dissemination, to indispensable tools for professional networking, social recommendations, marketing, and online content distribution. Social Networks, together with other activities, produce complex data to capture, manage, and process within a tolerable elapsed time. 

Due to their scale, complexity and heterogeneity, a number of technical and social challenges around security and privacy in social networks need to be addressed. On one hand, social networks have been the effective platform for attackers to launch and distribute malicious information. On the other hand, privacy leakage through social networks has become a common occurance. We carry out research in the areas of malicious behavior modeling in social networks, privacy protection in social networks, and trust and reputations in social networks.

Dependability, CPS and IoT security

Theme Leaders: Professor Lynn Batten and Dr Robin Doss

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are emerging as promising service platforms for a next-generation internet. 

By integrating different devices into a cohesive system, CPS exhibits tremendous capability to meet the information-processing demands of smart environments. CPS encompasses various technical areas, including wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, radio frequency identification and machine-to-machine communication systems. 

CPS will enable the development of smart, autonomous environments by allowing billions of devices to communicate. These devices will provide services in fields such as business, healthcare, social networks, logistics, agriculture, and e-commerce. However, security is the key element to meet the demands of CPS for context analysis, automated decision making and the generation of dynamic and intelligent responses in ever-changing environments. Global connectivity means CPS is open to malicious attacks and the subversion of normal operations and trust. Privacy is yet another critical concern for CPS. 

In addition, the heterogeneity and ubiquity of connected devices exacerbates the complexity of design and deployment of security methodologies. We're carrying out research on the protocols for communication, interoperability and processing mechanisms, all of which need new methodologies and approaches for security and dependability.

Cyber security risks and decision making

Theme Leaders: Professor Matthew Warren and Profesor Louis De Koker

A key issue for many organisations involved with the operation of critical infrastructure systems is that they don't fully understand the complexity of the systems they're controlling, or the associated security risks. A lack of awareness around emerging security risks, vulnerabilities and how these could impact an organisation are becoming a worrying trend.

For example, the security issue of knowledge leakage isn't fully understood, but could potentially result in the disclosure of sensitive organisational or operational data. How can organisations deal with these emerging security risks? How can decision makers within organisations make effective security decisions? The aim of the project area is to give decision makers the required tools to make the most appropriate security decision in an ever-changing security environment.

Cyber-crime is big business. It is being conducted by large organisations, who are seeking access to billions of dollars’ worth of financial gain.


Director, Centre for Cyber Security Research

Industry engagement

CCSR engages with industry and government through collaborative research projects, in order to provide protection from major cyber security threats facing Australia and the world. Through its research and outreach activities, CCSR models and informs cyber security policy development for government and business as well as raising cyber safety awareness levels in the community.

Contact us

Director, Centre for Cyber Security Research (CCSR)
Professor Yang Xiang
+61 3 9251 7482
Email Professor Xiang

Deputy Director, Centre for Cyber Security Research (CCSR)
Professor Matt Warren
+61 3 9244 6567
Email Matt Warren