Can we ease the challenges of security administration for distributed systems?

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Deborah Shands (SaTC​​)


Distributed systems in enterprise environments often include a variety of heterogeneous devices and software systems that require security configuration. How can system and network administrators configure all of these mechanisms correctly to enforce a given security policy? Distributed computing in federated or coalition environments adds even more complexity, as the various organizations authorize access to only some of their resources by users from partner organizations. Challenges arise in areas such as scalable system security administration, coalition trust management, and ensuring tolerable performance of security mechanisms. This talk will consider these and other distributed system security problems, provide an overview of some research projects that have addressed aspects of these problems, and discuss some future research challenges and opportunities.


Dr. Deborah Shands is a Program Director for the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, which provides over $70M annually in funding for scientific research and education in security and privacy. Dr. Shands is on rotation from The Aerospace Corporation, where she is a researcher and a consulting security architect/engineer for space systems. Much of her research has focused on scalable security administration for distributed computing environments. Prior to joining The Aerospace Corporation, she worked for McAfee Research leading DARPA-sponsored research projects, focused on security for coalition environments. She has worked as a consulting security engineer in various domains including healthcare and energy management. Dr. Shands holds a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University.