Kyrre Wahl Kongsgård graduated

Kyrre Wahl Kongsgård successfully completed his PhD trial lecture and thesis defense at the University of Oslo on Wednesday, the 20th of December 2017 and will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The title of his thesis is “Data Loss Prevention for Cross-Domain Information Exchange”.

In this thesis, novel methods are introduced for preventing and detecting incidents where sensitive data is leaked to third parties. The methods proposed are especially suitable for situations where isolated military systems are to be connected.

Loss of sensitive data is a widespread problem with potentially severe consequences. The topic of this thesis revolves around the construction of methods for detecting and preventing such incidents in situations where it is necessary to exchange information across computer systems. This is a scenario which is common in the military sector where one often needs to transfer information between systems that have been compartmentalised for security reasons. Increasingly data labellingbased security mechanisms are also being utilized in the civilian sector.

The users of existing systems must manually specify the security classification level for each individual file before it can be transferred. For example, an email can be labelled as “Unclassified” before it is sent to an external recipient. This assumes that the user is behaving non-maliciously and always assigns the correct security labels. To address this shortcoming, we have developed mathematical methods that, using the textual contents, predicts the appropriate security classification level. By inspecting all documents that are transferred between computer systems we are then able to decrease the likelihood of sensitive data leaking to third parties.

The work has been conducted at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in collaboration with the Institute of Technology Systems.

The following committee has been appointed to evaluate his thesis, trial lecture and defense:

First opponent: Associate Professor Stefan Axelsson, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, NTNU, Norway.
Second opponent: Research Associate Kellyn Rein, Fraunhofer FKIE, Standort Wachtberg, Germany.
Third opponent: Professor Tor Skeie, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.
Chair of defence: Professor Fritz Albregtsen, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.

Kyrre Wahl Kongsgård carried out his PhD work at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. His main supervisor was Associate Professor Nils Agne Nordbotten, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo and Co-supervisor was Professor Federico Mancini, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.


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