Secure Data Engineering Lab

Welcome to the Secure Data Engineering (SDE) Cyber Security Lab.

The SDE Cyber-Security lab develops secure algorithms and architectures for enterprise systems.  Cyber-Security is about Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.  Our work focuses on the “I” and “A” in cyber-security. Our work provides correctness and availability guarantees for distributed systems, cloud platforms and mobile solutions.  Graduate and undergraduate students work together in the lab developing novel solutions to today’s cyber-security issues.

For more information, please contact Aspen Olmsted (

Current Team Members

  • Gayathri Santhanakrishnan – Gayathri is a Master of Science in Computer Science student at the College of Charleston. Gayathri is a researcher on Cloud database de-normalization and Continuous ETL projects teams.
  • Matt Piazza – Matt is a senior in Computer Science student at the College of Charleston.  Matt is currently the president of the College of Charleston Cyber Security Club. Matt is a researcher on the Secure Transaction Workflows and Secure Enterprise Software Audits projects teams.
  • Kaitlyn Fulford – Kaitlyn is a senior, pursuing an Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.) in Computer Science and Dance at the College of Charleston. She has worked previously as a TA for a CSCI 220 lab and as a Social Media Editor for CofC’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Kaitlyn is a researcher on the IHCADS team.
  • Madeline Little – Madeline is a sophomore CSCI and CITA major interested in going into software development.  She draws and plays video games in her spare time, enjoys eating sushi, and really likes socks. She hopes to eventually own two cats and live on the West Coast. Madeline is a researcher on the IHCADS team.
  • Sarah Ford is a junior at the College of Charleston.  She is double majoring in computer science and international studies. She has previously worked as a Ruby on Rails development intern and is hoping to pursue a career in software development. Sarah is a researcher on the IHCADS team.


Current Projects:

  • Buddy System – We investigate the problem of providing consistency, availability and durability for Web Service transactions. We propose an approach that guarantees the availability of the popular lazy replica update propagation method while increasing the durability and consistency. Our replica update propagation method is called the Buddy System, which requires that updates are preserved synchronously in two replicas. Our first implementation schedules fine-grained WS-transactions. In these transactions, each activity is a low-level database operation. Later we consider each transaction as a black box, with only the corresponding metadata, expressed as UML specifications, as transaction semantics. We refer to these WS-transactions as coarse-grained WS-transactions. The Buddy System can handle these course grained WS-transactions, using UML stereotypes that allow scheduling semantics to be embedded into the design model. This design model is then exported and consumed by a service dispatcher to provide: 1.) High availability by distributing service requests across all available clusters. 2.) Consistency by performing the complete transaction on a single set of clusters. 3.) Durability by updating two clusters synchronously.
  • Cloud database de-normalization –  We investigate data models for storage and representation in Platform as a Service (PAAS) providers.
  • Continuous ETL –  We investigate algorithms and architectures that provide transnational guarantees across disparate functional systems.
  • Secure Transaction Workflows – We investigate current PCI compliant solutions for vulnerabilities, propose and test solutions to those vulnerabilities.
  • Secure Enterprise Software Audits – We investigate current enterprise solutions for vulnerabilities and propose and test solutions to those vulnerabilities.
  • (IHCADS) – Individualized Humanities Collection and Dissemination System.  IHCADS is an open source cloud-based software solution designed to enhance public access to historical, archeological and artistic data and the experts who can help interpret the data.






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