The increasing digitalization of all areas of life is causing the complexity of communication systems to rapidly increase. Thus, it is becoming ever more difficult for operators of such networks to ensure protection against attacks and data loss. Artificial intelligence (AI) can help to recognize dangers and to stop them, but has only been implemented in a restricted manner to date due to its insufficient reliability at times. A research project, in which the Center for Computing Technologies (TZI) at the University of Bremen is a part, is now investigating new possibilities for the effective use of AI to increase network security. User friendliness is also to be ensured.
In the Wintermute project, an AI-based system that will analyze data flows in communication systems and show said flows in a simple manner is being developed. On this basis, the system will enable close controlling of the system - even in complex networks. The adaption of regulations for the controlling of data flows in these networks is also to be made simpler.
Relief for Administrators
“Network administrators often work with systems and applications that have grown over decades,” explains Professor Johannes Schöning, head of the Human-Computer Interaction working group at TZI. “The causes for repeatedly occurring security problems in these systems are mainly time pressure, overworking, manual configuration, insufficient documentation, and poor usability. We wish to make the implementation of new, better performing security systems simpler for administrators.”
In order to achieve this, the scientists are placing great significance on the user friendliness of their system. With the aid of artificial intelligence, anomalies in the data flows will not only be determined but will also be assessed in terms of their relevance in order to minimize the number of false alarms. The system will also learn from the administrator’s feedback in this way.
TZI Develops User Interface
The TZI is contributing its comprehensive experience in the field of human-computer interaction to the project. The working group is helping to develop a user interface, is working on laboratory experiments with users, and the evaluation of the developed solutions, to name a few tasks.
In the Wintermute project (which is named after a character in the Neuromancer book trilogy), genua GmbH (Kirchheim bei München) is taking on the coordinator role as an IT specialist company for security and a subsidiary of the German federal printing office. Alongside the University of Bremen, the Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg and the University of Bamberg are participating as academic partners. The companies acs plus GmbH (Berlin) and IsarNet Software Solutions (Munich) are industry partners. The total project volume is 2.86 million euros. The Federal ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is financing around two thirds of said amount.
www.project-wintermute.de (in German only)
Center for Computing Technologies (TZI)
University of Bremen
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