Many students today are interested in cyber security research. Staying ahead of the game is important, and much can be gained by knowing what topics are popular now and will remain so for some time.
Both home users and enterprise professionals need to understand how to protect their data from hackers who seek it out, steal it or destroy it. Researching what other people have done helps fill in the gaps that exist because no single person can know everything about cyber security. Knowing where to look is also key; here are some of the top 7 cyber security research paper topics:
1) Data Breaches
Over five million records were stolen last year alone via data breaches (Chapple). Who is responsible (hackers, insiders)? How do these types of breaches happen? How does the media cover these types of events? What should be done to prevent them?
2) Cyber Warfare
The United States Military began taking cyber warfare seriously in 2006 (Carr). Are there any countries experiencing it now? Who is responsible for attacks on common citizens, businesses, and organizations? Which country has launched the most attacks thus far, and who was targeted by these attacks? How are these conflicts progressing, what could they lead to if not resolved soon? These are all questions that can be answered with research into this area.
3) Privacy Concerns
There are several ways that privacy concerns are coming into play. For instance, documents stored in the cloud are available via a remote link but also available locally when someone downloads them (Welsh). What happens when the cloud service is sold or discontinued, and the new owners don’t allow public access? There are also concerns about whether or not cybercriminals can gain access to private files via social media (Todd). If this is possible, how do they do it? How does one protect themselves? We would like to recommend checking this site to expand more on this topic.
4) Password Threats
One of the top password threats that users face today is that their passwords may be compromised due to keylogger programs. These small pieces of code are difficult to detect but can quickly steal passwords as people type them in. How many times have you heard someone speaking near you say something like “my password is ‘Ihatehackers’?” Would anyone guess correctly because so many people use common words which hackers know about? What about phone numbers, birthdays, and other identifying information? How can one prevent this type of cyber attack and still be able to use a password that they will remember?
5) System Vulnerabilities
Every operating system has vulnerabilities. These can range from software flaws in the code of an application/program, to hardware issues such as BIOSes with viruses lurking inside (McGrew). The average computer user cannot be expected to deal with these issues on their own unless they are extremely savvy or have very deep pockets for hiring experts. How do companies react when informed of potential security breaches? Will removing the vulnerability eliminate the threat completely, reduce it drastically, or not affect it at all? All of these questions need to be answered in order for a proper analysis of this topic to take place.
6) Cloud Computing
Data breaches are commonplace when someone stores information using cloud computing (Chapple). This includes public and enterprise clouds, but even private clouds which may house information that has not been made public. How is data protected in the cloud? What is done when a violation occurs? Who is responsible for preventing these types of events from happening, and how do they prevent them within their own organizations?
7) Social Engineering via Phone Calls
It is estimated that chances are one out of every ten calls you get at home or work will be fraudulent (Barto). Most victims fall for it too, especially if the caller spoofs the phone number and makes it look like a local number. How can one differentiate between legitimate and non-legitimate calls? What methods do the scammers use to gain personal information? If you knew how they operated, would it help you avoid becoming a victim of such an attack?
These are just some of the top cyber security research paper topics that students will find interesting. Depending on the quality of research and writing skills that you possess, there may be even more possibilities out there. As with most papers, dividing your topic into manageable pieces is important.
For example, instead of writing about “privacy concerns” maybe narrow it down to social media threats, cloud computing threats, and general privacy threats in general. That way when you begin creating a bibliography, you have a foundation to build upon.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.