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Cy(Bear)security Research Group

"The Shaw University Cy(Bear)security Research Group is a team of undergraduate students led by Professor James Brown committed to developing sophisticated intrusion detection systems capable of identifying malicious intrusions in IoT environments in real-time."

Why is Cybersecurity Important?


The field of cybersecurity has become omnipresent in modern society. Many of the services rely upon a multitude of various devices, technologies, and systems commingling in complex and sophisticated environments. However, as the importance of these services grows, the potential threat they face increases as well. Malicious actors see these systems as significant targets for financial gain, political ideologies, religious beliefs, cyberterrorism, or state-sponsored cyberespionage. Hence why having effective security protocols in place are of utmost importance.



Currently, damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually in 2021. Cyber threats have become more prevalent with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities have seen a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of attacks. A successful data breach can have significant financial reputations for these facilities. Based on current metrics, the average cost of a cyber-attack in healthcare is $3.62 million.

The Internet of Things (IoT), introduced by the MIT Auto-ID Center in 1998, is a rapidly evolving field of information and communication technology which encompasses a diverse set of devices, networking protocols, and transmission methods. The term represents a vision where different technologies converge to create networks of distributed and interconnected devices that monitor, record, and analyze various aspects of society including Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), and many more. As a result, by 2025, there is expected to be over 75 billion Internet-enabled devices transmitting data across networks. These devices include embedded sensors which collect precise readings from environments that are processed through multi-tiered sophisticated software systems.

Shaw University's Cy(Bear)security Research Group

The group aims to expose students to the practice of research and to explore cutting-edge topics in cybersecurity.

The Cy(Bear)security Research Group engages in research focused on two key areas:


  • Malware Analysis: Performing dynamic and static analysis of malware to build a behavioral profile.

  • Internet of Things Intrusion Detection: Analyzing and detecting malicious intrusions in Internet of Things environments.

The Cy(Bear)security Research Group seeks to develop sophisticated intrusion detection systems capable of identifying malicious intrusions in IoT environments in real-time. IoT is particularly challenging to secure due to a lack of standardization, training, laws, distribution (geographically) of devices, resource constraints of devices, and diversity of devices, including the manufacturers. An intrusion detection system must account for these challenges to be a viable solution for IoT intrusion detection. Traditional systems were not designed, nor developed, to account for those challenges, therefore, they are unsuitable for this type of environment. The Cy(Bear)security Research Group will use machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to generate intrusion detection models and test their efficacy on community accepted and recognized data sets.

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