April 8, 2002
CMU's Parallel Data Lab (PDL) showcased new approaches to computer security by tapping into concepts used in medieval castles. Inspired by so-called "siege warfare" and a $4.5 million grant from the Department of Defense, Assistant Professor of ECE Greg Ganger works on devices to protect computer data even after intruders have hacked through traditional perimeters like firewalls.
Ganger, director of the Parallel Data Lab, says these "self-securing devices" will erect their own security perimeters and defend their own critical resources just like the way distinct parts of medieval castles formed distinct protective barriers, such as moats, inner sanctums, and strategically placed guard towers.
The "self-securing devices" activity was showcased together with other PDL research at a one-day PDL event attended by over 20 technical leaders from PDL sponsor companies, including EMC, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Network Appliance, Panasas, Seagate, Sun, and Veritas.
The PDL is academia's premiere storage systems research center and a major part of Pittsburgh's hotbed of storage research and development. A model medieval castle, replete with siege towers and hand-made toy soldiers, was used to illustrate some of the new infrastructure security technology research under way at the lab.
*Also featured in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, April 22, 2002.