In this talk, I will discuss the importance of research in network security, looking at its past, present and future. We live in an era where everything is connected all the time thanks to sophisticated interconnections of networks. Complexity remains hidden to the end users and to the application developers thanks to the layering principle which has enabled the mass scaling of the Internet. Unfortunately, almost none of these layers have been designed with security in mind and they present a worrying attack surface. Furthermore, the quest for performance, usability and ease of use, in particular with the emerging IoT ecosystem, leads to the insecure combination of various protocols. Also, novel security features are introduced to solve one problem but make another one much worse. By means of various examples, I will try to highlight these phenomena from the past and their lasting influence on today’s and tomorrow’s world.
Marc Dacier is a full professor of Computer Science (CS) and the associate director of the Resilience Computing and Cybersecurity research Center (RC3) at King Abdullah University of Sciences and Technology, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Dacier obtained his Ph.D. from INPT in 1994 from his work done at LAAS, CNRS, in Toulouse (France). Since then, he has had a balanced career between industry and academia. After his thesis, he worked for one year as a security consultant in Paris, France, for France Telecom and the French ministry of interior. In 1996, he joined IBM Research in Zurich (Switzerland) to create the Global Security Analysis Laboratory (GSAL). In 2002, he became a professor at Eurecom. In 2008, he joined Symantec to build its European Research Labs. Later, he spent two years in the USA to manage all the collaborative research projects, worldwide. In that role, he was in charge of teams in France, Ireland, and in the United States. He was also the university relationship manager for Symantec Research Labs, worldwide. In 2014, he became the director of the cybersecurity research group at QCRI, in Qatar, where he lived for 3 years. In October 2017, Dr. Dacier came back to EURECOM to become the head of the Digital Security department and a full professor until June 2021 when he joined KAUST. An internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity, Dr. Dacier has served on more than 120 program committees of all major security and dependability conferences and as a member of the editorial board of several top-tier technical peer-reviewed journals.