U of M partners to improve Internet security

Researchers and developers at the University of Memphis are hoping that a new Internet security system called Named Data Networking (NDN) will help to revolutionize the way data is stored, retrieved and protected in the future.
 
"The ultimate goal is to redesign the Internet to offer better support for security, mobility and new applications," says Dr. Lan Wang, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Computer Science Department at U of M. "In the NDN Internet, every piece of data has a unique name, and users retrieve data by the names. The data can be stored anywhere and served by any device that has the data, which allows much more efficient and scalable data distribution. In addition, every piece of data is signed by its creator and can be verified by anyone."
 
Wang and her colleagues applied for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2010, and Named Data Networking was one of four projects chosen. The U of M received more than $500,000 for the first phase of the project, and in May the school received second-phase funding from NSF totaling $350,000 for two years.
 
The university is collaborating on the project with UCLA, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UCSD, Washington University, University of Michigan, Colorado State University and University of Arizona.
 
Wang's group is focusing on developing routing protocols that will help guide interest packets to retrieve data.  
 
"In the first phase of the NDN project, my group developed a name-based dynamic routing protocol called NLSR, which has been being deployed on the NDN testbed," explains Wang. "In the second phase, we will design an inter-domain routing protocol that will allow Internet service providers to build name-based routing tables in a secure and policy-compliant manner. We will also collaborate with other universities to build an adaptive forwarding plane to support mHealth and other applications."
 
She believes the Internet is suffering from scalability problems, network attacks and lack of mobility support. 

"The citizens and businesses of Memphis will directly benefit from a more secure and reliable Internet, faster Internet data transfers and more mobile applications," Wang says. "More citizens and small businesses will be able to host their own content on their own servers more easily instead of relying on large hosting companies."
 
By Michael Waddell
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