150+ Research Topics on Cyber Security

150+ Research Topics on Cyber Security

Cyber security has become one of the most important issues in the technology-driven world today. As more and more systems are connected online, the threats of cyber attacks continue to grow. There is an urgent need for continued research and development in cyber security to stay ahead of cyber criminals and protect networks and data. Here are over 150 research topics on cyber security that can help drive innovation and progress in this critical field.

Other Research Topics: 

Network Security

  • Developing new firewall techniques to protect against emerging threats
  • Enhancing intrusion detection and prevention systems using machine learning
  • Improving network segmentation strategies for better security zoning
  • New authentication mechanisms for secure access control
  • Securing Internet of Things networks and interconnected devices
  • Detecting and preventing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • Developing software defined perimeters for dynamic network security
  • Improving security of wireless mesh networks and communications
  • Blockchain applications for enhanced network security and integrity
  • Quantum cryptography for future network encryption methods

Firewall Techniques

  • Anomaly-based firewall rules to detect zero-day threats
  • Firewall optimizations to handle high throughput networks
  • Hardware accelerated firewalls using FPGAs and networking chips
  • Firewall rule analytics to prune unnecessary rules and improve performance
  • Next generation firewalls with integrated threat intelligence feeds
  • AI/ML powered firewalls to dynamically adapt protections

Intrusion Detection and Prevention

  • Optimizing SNORT-based intrusion detection for cloud networks
  • Improving deep packet inspection for encrypted traffic analysis
  • Real-time intelligent threat analytics for fast intrusion detection
  • Honeypots and honeynets to analyze malware behavior for IP adaptations
  • Integrating web application firewall techniques into IP systems
  • Better methods to detect and prevent insider attacks
  • Low-latency intrusion prevention systems
  • Enabling IDS/IPS acceleration through hardware offloading

Access Control

  • Multi-factor authentication techniques using biometrics
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger applications for identity and access management
  • Federated identity management across multicloud environments
  • User behavioral analytics to catch anomalous access patterns
  • Machine learning for adaptive and risk-based authentication strategies
  • AR/VR systems for advanced biometric user authentication
  • Quantum-secure authentication protocols resistant to future cryptanalysis
  • Lightweight and secure access control systems for IoT devices

DDoS Protection

  • Detecting DDoS network traffic patterns with deep learning
  • Optimized utilization of BGP Flowspec for DDoS mitigation
  • Better botnet detection to prevent large scale distributed attacks
  • Anycast routing techniques to absorb DDoS traffic across many sites
  • Low latency DDoS scrubbing solutions for real-time mitigation
  • Accelerating DDoS protection using smartNICs and FPGAs
  • secure overlay networks to provide DDoS protection for critical systems
  • Blockchain-based DDoS prevention through transaction validation

Software Defined Perimeters

  • Microsegmentation and dynamic isolation of critical systems
  • Multi-access edge computing (MEC) integration
  • Secure network access brokering based on identity
  • Automated policy management and security orchestration
  • cryptographically verifiable workloads to establish zero trust
  • Interoperable frameworks for SDP in multi-cloud environments

Wireless Security

  • Securing WiFi mesh networks with blockchain-based authentication
  • Detecting rogue access points and wireless sniffing attacks
  • Machine learning fingerprinting of wireless devices to prevent spoofing
  • quantum cryptography for securing future 5G/6G cellular networks
  • Lightweight encryption optimized for IoT wireless sensors
  • Over-the-air firmware validation to prevent malicious code injection

Blockchain Security

  • Consensus algorithms resistant to 51% attacks
  • Securing blockchain networks from DDoS attacks
  • Off-chain storage techniques for reduced blockchain bloat
  • Sharding architectures for better scalability and throughput
  • Mitigation of transaction malleability and recurrence attacks
  • Quantum-secure cryptographic hash functions
  • Tools to prevent and detect smart contract vulnerabilities

Application Security

  • New methods to prevent SQL injection attacks on web apps
  • Scanning APIs for vulnerabilities using fuzzing and penetration testing
  • Static and dynamic analysis to detect memory corruption bugs
  • Policy-based security orchestration for microservices deployments
  • Hardening serverless functions against malware and exploits
  • Sandboxing techniques to isolate and protect application processes
  • Blocking zero-day attacks through runtime application self-protection
  • Developers tools to build security into applications by design

SQL Injection Prevention

  • Combining input validation with semantic analysis of queries
  • Tools to flag database calls in code for review
  • Automated rewriting of queries into prepared statements
  • Runtime taint tracking of user inputs in application code
  • Fuzz testing web interfaces to uncover injection flaws
  • Machine learning to build models of normal vs anomalous queries

API Security

  • Automated scanners for finding common API flaws like XXE
  • Fuzzing APIs with malicious payloads based on Swagger/OpenAPI specs
  • Runtime instrumentation of API traffic to prevent abuse
  • Static analysis of API code to detect logical vulnerabilities
  • Dynamic penetration testing APIs deployed staging environments
  • AI helpers for identifying gaps in API auth and access control
  • Blockchain-based mutual authentication between APIs and clients

Memory Corruption Defenses

  • Fine-grained compartmentalization of memory using software fault isolation
  • Detecting buffer overflows and out-of-bounds accesses with sanitizers
  • Control flow integrity protections to prevent code hijacking
  • Pointer authentication in compiled code to prevent forging
  • Post quantum cryptography resistant algorithms to mitigate fault attacks
  • Hardware assisted enforcement of memory safety

Serverless Security

  • Applying the principle of least privilege to function permissions and roles
  • Automated scanning of serverless code prior to deployment
  • Logging and auditing of all function invocations
  • Runtime malware detection for serverless environments
  • Distributed tracing across functions to analyze behavior
  • Microsegmentation and network zoning of serverless functions
  • Confidential computing techniques for data protection


  • Library, system call, and network call interposition on Linux using seccomp
  • Lightweight virtualization with KVM/QEMU for sandboxing processes
  • Sandboxing JavaScript browser extensions and iframes
  • Application containerization with Docker to limit attack surface
  • Automated generation of sandboxing policies
  • Hardware assisted sandboxing utilizing CPU extensions like Intel VT

Runtime Application Self-Protection

  • Detecting memory corruption, injection attacks, and malware with runtime instrumentation
  • Behavior profiling to detect anomalous execution flows
  • Policy enforcement for allowed server interactions and data access
  • Blocking attacks by hot patching vulnerable code
  • Automated diversity techniques like ASLR, stack canaries, and randomization
  • Machine learning models to detect zero-day attacks based on low level signals
  • Self-healing applications that can recover from failures and breaches

Cloud and Infrastructure Security

  • Protecting cloud deployments and infrastructure from sophisticated threats
  • New tools to provide visibility into security posture across cloud environments
  • Hardening cloud resource configurations through policy enforcement
  • Automating security operations and incident response for cloud
  • Ensuring integrity and confidentiality of data across cloud services
  • Managing identities, keys, credentials securely in the cloud
  • Isolating workloads in the cloud using microsegmentation

Cloud Visibility

  • Graph-based network mapping for visualizing assets and connections
  • Agentless scanning techniques like cloudmapper for public cloud visibility
  • Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) to monitor cloud resource usage
  • Open source tools like ScoutSuite and Prowler for cloud security audits
  • Central logging of cloud events and activities for analysis
  • Distributed tracing solutions to track requests across microservices
  • User behavior analytics (UEBA) tailored for cloud environments

Cloud Hardening

  • Automated policy enforcement via infrastructure as code scanners
  • Appling the principle of least privilege to cloud permissions
  • Immutable infrastructure patterns to prevent malicious changes
  • Configuration management tools like Ansible, Puppet, Chef for hardening
  • Hardening guides tailored to each cloud provider’s services
  • Periodic re-testing and re-auditing to catch new weaknesses

Cloud Data Protection

  • Client-side encryption for data processed by cloud services
  • Homomorphic encryption allowing computations on encrypted data
  • Confidential computing with encrypted memory to secure data in use
  • Algorithmically random sharding of data across cloud locations
  • Secure multiparty computation to protect sensitive analytics
  • Key management systems and hardware security modules
  • Blockchain-based distributed data auditing

Cloud Incident Response

  • prepared incident response plans tailored for cloud environments
  • Cloud-scale log analysis and correlation to uncover attacks
  • Forensics tools for gathering cloud infrastructure artifacts
  • Automated containment of cloud incidents through orchestration
  • Integrating threat intelligence feeds with cloud security alerts
  • Simulated incident response exercises and red team testing
  • Collaborative cloud-based platforms to coordinate response

Cloud Identity Management

  • Federated identity with standards like SAML and OpenID Connect
  • Adaptive and risk-based multi-factor authentication techniques
  • Contextual access control models based on identity, environment, and resource
  • Identity as a Service offerings to offload identity management
  • Credential management and secrets rotation pipeline
  • Identity governance and privileged access management (PAM)

Mobile Security

  • Securing mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and wearables
  • Mobile app security, iOS security, Android security
  • Emerging 5G mobile security threats and mitigations
  • Mobile device management (MDM), mobile threat detection/prevention

iOS Security

  • Code auditing and reverse engineering iOS apps
  • Dynamic and static analysis of iOS apps for malware
  • Jailbreak detection and prevention controls
  • Securing apps through iOS data protection, Touch ID/Face ID, Keychain access control lists, app transport security
  • Detecting malicious over-the-air profiles and enterprise certificate abuse
  • Monitoring network traffic with a VPN for iOS devices
  • Integrating with Apple threat intelligence feeds

Android Security

  • Assessing permissions required by Android apps
  • Static and dynamic analysis of Android APK files for risks
  • Monitoring app behavior and intent messaging for malicious actions
  • Detecting potential spyware, trojans, bots, phishing attacks
  • Enforcing Android security enhancements like app sandboxing
  • Side-loading protections and Google Play Protect
  • Detecting Android rooting, emulators, debuggers used in attacks
  • Integrating with Google Play Protect threat intelligence

Mobile Threat Detection/Prevention

  • Network traffic analysis to uncover command and control, data exfiltration
  • Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tailored to mobile devices
  • Ensuring device configuration compliance with industry standards
  • Blocking access to risky apps, app stores, and phishing sites
  • Protecting user credentials stored on devices
  • Automated mobile app vetting before provisioning devices
  • Machine learning driven behavioral modeling to detect sophisticated threats

Mobile Device Management

  • Centralized device configuration and policy management
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) for mobile users
  • Remote locate, lock, and wipe of lost or stolen devices
  • Monitoring mobile devices for compromise indicators
  • Vulnerability management for mobile devices
  • Granular access controls around apps, data, and resources
  • Automated security updates and patch management
  • Integrations with existing enterprise identity and monitoring systems

Systems Security

  • Hardening computer systems like desktops, laptops, servers
  • Protecting operating systems like Windows, Linux, macOS, Unix
  • Securing programs, applications, libraries, frameworks, containers
  • Embedded and IoT device security challenges and defenses
  • Supply chain security practices for hardware and software

OS Hardening

  • Security configuration benchmarks for popular OS platforms
  • Application whitelisting and blacklisting
  • Access controls like file permissions, user roles, authentication
  • Disabling unnecessary services, ports, functionality
  • Patch management programs and automated updates
  • Integrity monitoring and change auditing capabilities
  • Secure system imaging and configuration as code practices

Windows Security

  • Hardening Windows servers, clients, services, Active Directory
  • Detecting malware, viruses, ransomware, rootkits targeting Windows
  • Analyzing suspicious Windows files, emails, attachments for threats
  • Validating integrity of system files, memory, and registries for tampering
  • Securing Windows kernels, drivers, and low level components
  • Integrating Windows threat intelligence feeds
  • Managing security updates and patches for Windows versions

Linux Security

  • Linux server hardening guidelines for distros like Ubuntu, Red Hat
  • SELinux, AppArmor, seccomp policies to limit attack surface
  • Protection against stolen credentials with two factor auth
  • Monitoring filesystem changes and login attempts for anomalies
  • Sandboxing potentially risky applications
  • Securing SHM, kernel modules, and other targets for rootkits
  • Static analysis for C/C++ programs running on Linux
  • Vulnerability management for Linux packages and dependencies

Mac Security

  • Gatekeeper, XProtect, sandboxing, and other Mac security controls
  • Detecting malware like MacKeeper, MacDefender, MacRansom
  • Harden the System Integrity Protection (SIP) feature
  • Disable automatic actions like camera access, Apple events
  • Review kernel extensions and binaries for risks
  • Monitor homebrew and other third party packages for issues
  • Validate self-signed certificates used on Macs
  • Integrate with macOS threat intelligence feeds

Embedded/IoT Security

  • Lightweight cryptography optimized for low power devices
  • Hardware security modules to protect keys and credentials
  • Attestation mechanisms to validate firmware/software
  • Detecting tampering of embedded devices through runtime instrumentation
  • Securing communications with MQTT, COAP, and other IoT protocols
  • Policy based network monitoring to allow expected traffic only
  • Privilege separation, process isolation techniques tailored to embedded OS
  • Fuzz testing interfaces and parsing code to find memory corruption bugs

Supply Chain Security

  • Securing hardware component sourcing and manufacturing
  • Detecting counterfeit hardware chips like MAC addresses, ICs, GPUs
  • Validating integrity of hardware using PUF signatures
  • Software and firmware integrity checks before loading
  • Monitoring third party software dependencies and packages
  • Multi-party secure computation for analytics on shared data
  • Blockchain tracking of components through complex supply chains
  • Standards like ISO 20243 for integrated component security

Cryptography and Privacy

  • Developing post-quantum secure cryptographic algorithms resistant to quantum computers
  • Lightweight cryptography optimized for IoT and embedded devices
  • Advancing homomorphic encryption schemes that allow computations on encrypted data
  • Secure multiparty computation techniques that protect input privacy
  • Enhancing user privacy through anonymous credentials, access control, transparency tools
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger innovations to reduce reliance on trusted third parties

Post-Quantum Cryptography

  • Lattice-based cryptosystems like Learning with Errors
  • Isogeny-based schemes using supersingular elliptic curves
  • Hash-based signature algorithms
  • Multivariate polynomial cryptography
  • Developing hybrid schemes that combine multiple approaches as a hedge
  • Quantum-resistant algorithms for PKI certificates and TLS handshakes
  • Mitigating vulnerabilities in existing protocols and systems ahead of quantum

Lightweight Cryptography

  • Ciphers optimized for low memory usage, power draw, footprint
  • Lightweight hash functions, message authentication codes
  • Key establishment and agreement protocols like MQV
  • Hardware accelerators for embedded cryptography
  • Cryptanalysis of lightweight schemes for weaknesses
  • Methodologies for evaluating fitness on highly constrained devices
  • Integration with embedded software stacks like RIOT, Zephyr, FreeRTOS

Homomorphic Encryption

  • Partially homomorphic schemes that perform a limited set of operations
  • Fully homomorphic encryption allowing arbitrary computations
  • Improving performance through better noise management and bootstrapping techniques
  • Applications to privacy preserving machine learning
  • Secure outsourced computation on encrypted data
  • Developing libraries, toolkits, frameworks to ease adoption

Secure Multiparty Computation

  • Protocols like Yao’s garbled circuits for private function evaluation
  • Efficient zero-knowledge proofs
  • Function secret sharing techniques like Boolean secret sharing
  • Trusted execution environments like Intel SGX to protect code and data
  • Differential privacy techniques to obscure inputs
  • Frameworks enabling analysis of shared data without visibility
  • Applications like distributed threat detection among organizations

Privacy Enhancing Cryptography

  • Anonymous credentials and zero knowledge proofs
  • Private set intersection techniques
  • Searchable encryption allowing queries over encrypted data
  • Secure private information retrieval (PIR)
  • Differential privacy mechanisms to anonymize datasets
  • Cryptographic voting protocols immune to coercion
  • Self-sovereign identity and selective disclosure

Policy, Audit, Compliance

  • Developing security policies, procedures, standards aligned to best practices
  • Auditing systems and processes to uncover gaps and non-compliance
  • Ensuring compliance with regulations like PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GDPR
  • Adopting frameworks like NIST CSF, CIS Controls, ISO 27001
  • Creating organizational processes for risk management
  • Establishing third-party risk management programs
  • Building security awareness training and culture

Policy Development

  • Aligning policies to established frameworks and controls
  • Tailoring policies to organization's unique risks
  • Gathering cross-functional input and socializing policies
  • Automating policy creation from questionnaires
  • Natural language processing to ingest regulations into policies
  • Version control and policy repository management
  • Integrating policies into developer and security tools

Auditing and Compliance

  • Continuous auditing and monitoring of configs for drift
  • Workflow automation for control validation and evidence gathering
  • Standards mapping and gap assessment
  • Security questionnaires to measure compliance
  • Developing tests aligned to policy and regulation controls
  • Optimizing audit costs by focusing on key risk indicators
  • Leveraging automation and machine learning to lower auditing overhead

Risk Management

  • Risk assessment models tailored to the organization
  • Threat modeling approaches like STRIDE, PASTA, VAST
  • Vulnerability management programs to find and remediate bugs
  • Integrating risk metrics into dashboards and workflows
  • Analyzing incidents for root causes and process improvements
  • Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery plans
  • Adapting cyber insurance strategies based on risk appetite


Cyber security research and development is more crucial than ever before. As technology rapidly evolves, so do the threats against it. Having over 300 robust research topics to explore will enable the cybersecurity community to get ahead of malicious actors and protect the individuals, businesses, and governments that increasingly rely on safe digital infrastructure. R&D will lead to innovations in areas like threat detection, encryption, access management, software security, and infrastructure protection that will make the online world a safer place. With problems yet to be solved in both fundamental and applied security research, there is tremendous opportunity for impactful contributions to help secure the future.


Q: What are some of the key cyber security research areas right now?

A: Some of the most important research areas currently are cloud security, application security, mobile security, cryptography, network security, and systems security. Each of these domains present unique challenges as technology and computing platforms continue to evolve.

Q: How can research topics lead to meaningful innovations?

A: Robust research allows for major advances in techniques, tools, and technologies that can then be applied to real-world security implementations. For example, post-quantum cryptography research may yield new algorithms to prepare encryption for the quantum computing era.

Q: What fields contribute to cyber security research?

A: Cyber security research draws from disciplines including computer science, engineering, mathematics, cryptography, networking, data science, and more. Interdisciplinary approaches combining these backgrounds can lead to breakthroughs.

Q: Where is cyber security research published?

A: Major security conferences like IEEE S&PACM CCS, and USENIX Security highlight cutting-edge research each year. Top journals include IEEE Security & PrivacyACM TISSEC, and Journal of Cryptology among others focused on specialty areas.

Q: How can I get involved in cyber security research?

A: There are many ways to contribute to advancing R&D in the field. Pursuing higher education in cyber security, participating in open source projects, attending conferences, joining industry research groups, and publishing papers are all great ways to get involved.

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