From 1 february 2024, Roland van Rijswijk-Deij has been appointed as a professor in the chair: ‘Data-driven Internet Security’ at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.
Van Rijswijk-Deij’s research focuses on defending the Internet against malicious activity and on strengthening the security and resilience of the Internet by improving protocols and operations, and the deployment of new security protocols and mechanisms. His research uses an empirical approach to these challenges by performing global Internet-scale passive and active measurements.
The Internet is essential for our society, but its aging protocols combined with rampant cyber threats pose significant risks. Cyber threats from criminals and nation-states, such as denial-of-service attacks and ransomware, pose serious risks to Internet security. At the same time, the very fabric of secure communication is threatened by the advent of quantum computing, which can break the cryptography the Internet currently relies on for confidentiality and authentication. This means we face major challenges in keeping the Internet secure and available for all to use.
An often-proposed solution to enhancing security involves consolidating Internet services within major tech companies, arguing that only they have the scale and skills to ensure the security and availability of key Internet services. This, however, jeopardizes digital sovereignty, as these big tech companies are rarely European, and threatens locking us in to a handful of big providers that essentially control the market. To preserve a free, open, diverse and secure Internet, secure open protocols must be well-supported, and operators must be properly incentivised to deploy these. Van Rijswijk-Deij's research at the University of Twente takes a data-driven approach, understanding real-world protocol deployment, analysing operational performance, addressing incentive misalignments, and studying the impact of governmental policies on Internet operations.