Virginia Tech® home

Security, Privacy and Safety in the Internet of Things, Dr. Elisa Bertino

Thu, October 29, 2020
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

The  Internet  of  Things  (IoT)  paradigm  refers  to  the  network  of  physical  objects  or  "things"  embedded  with  electronics,  software,  sensors,  and connectivity  to  enable  objects  to  exchange  data  with  servers,  centralized  systems,    and/or  other  connected  devices  based  on  a  variety  of  communication  infrastructures. 

IoT  makes  it  possible  to  sense  and  control  objects  creating  opportunities  for  more  direct  integration  between  the  physical  world and computer-based systems. Furthermore, the deployment of AI techniques enhances the autonomy of IoT devices and systems. IoT will thus usher automation in a large number of application domains, ranging from manufacturing and energy management (e.g. SmartGrid), to healthcare management and urban life (e.g. SmartCity).  However,  because  of  its  fine-grained,  continuous  and  pervasive  data  acquisition  and  control  capabilities, IoT raises concerns about security, privacy, and safety.

Deploying existing solutions to IoT is not straightforward because of device heterogeneity, highly dynamic and possibly unprotected environments, and large scale. In this talk, after outlining key challenges in IoT security and privacy, we outline a security lifecycle approach to  securing  IoT  data,  and then focus on our recent work on security analysis for cellular network protocols and edge-based anomaly detection based on machine learning techniques.

We will conclude with a brief discussion of our recent work focusing on security and safety-constrained autonomous IoT devices that use use reinforcement learning techniques.


Elisa Bertino is a professor of Computer Science at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, she was a professor and department head at the Department of Computer Science and Communication of the University of Milan. She  has  been  a  visiting  researcher  at  the  IBM  Research  Laboratory  (now  Almaden)  in  San  Jose,  at  the  Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, at Rutgers University, and at Telcordia Technologies.

Her  main  research  interests  include  security,  privacy,  database  systems,  distributed  systems,  and  sensor  networks. Her recent research focuses on digital identity management, biometrics, IoT security, security of 4G and 5G cellular network protocols, and policy infrastructures for managing distributed systems. Prof. Bertino has published more than 700 papers in all major refereed journals, and in proceedings of international conferences and  symposia. 

She  has  given  keynotes,  tutorials  and  invited  presentations  at  conferences  and  other  events.  She is a Fellow member of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS. She received the 2002 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award "For outstanding contributions to database systems and database security and advanced data management systems", the 2005 IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for "Pioneering and  innovative research contributions to secure distributed systems", and the ACM 2019-2020 Athena Lecturer Award.

With a mission of research, innovation, and workforce development, the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) focuses on the intersection of security, autonomous systems, and data. Funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, CCI is a highly connected statewide network that engages institutions of higher education, industry, government, and nongovernmental and economic development organizations. CCI’s network includes 39 higher education institutions and 320 faculty members as well as more than 20 industry partners. CCI was established in the 2018-20 Virginia budget with an investment of approximately $20 million annually from 2020 and beyond. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Thanks for your interest! Please contact Kendall Beebe at to get involved.

CCI will post a recording of the webinar, which you can watch on CCI’s YouTube channel.