Department: Computer Science School: Engineering and Computing Sciences Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2011
Shaping U.S. cyber security policy is at the fingertips of Kiran Balagani, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at NYIT. As principal investigator for a $500K grant awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), he will study an alternative to password-based methods of validating the identity of computer users.
The project is entitled "Investigating Cognitive Rhythms as a New Modality for Continuous Authentication." Balagani and co-investigators from Louisiana Tech University and the City University of New York at Queens College will test mathematical algorithms to find a scientific method free of human error to prove the identities of computer users. Their findings could be used to validate user identities for government computer systems and eventually be adopted by the commercial sector.
Balagani's research comes at a critical time for the U.S. government. President Obama's second-term agenda includes shaping federal policy on cyber security. He has issued an executive order for lawmakers to draft voluntary cyber security standards for companies operating power grids, air traffic control systems, and other national infrastructure.
Prior to NYIT, Balagani taught at the Center for Secure Cyberspace at Louisiana Tech University, where he also earned a Ph.D. in computer science. He routinely presents his research at NYIT's annual Cyber Security Conference, and it has appeared in prestigious journals published by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He holds three U.S. patents in network-centric attack detection.