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Hard Topic Theme: Deployable and Impactful Security


Since 2013, ACSAC has had a hard topic theme that focuses the conference on tackling a hard, cutting-edge, cybersecurity problem requiring cooperation from government, industry, and academia. This year, ACSAC especially encourages contributions in the area of Deployable and Impactful Security.

ACSAC welcomes contributions on the Deployable and Impactful Security topic of not only technical papers, but also of panels, workshops, posters, and works-in-progress, as well as other "out-of-the-box" ideas. ACSAC also welcomes specific suggestions for invited speakers and presenters on this topic. See the Call for Submissions for specific instructions for each submission type.

During the conference, a number of orchestrated sessions will include government and industry speakers to frame the hard topic theme, industry and academic speakers to discuss issues and challenges related to the topic, and academic speakers to introduce promising security research. The primary goal of these special sessions will be to foster discussion that can expose opportunities for further collaboration and highlight promising research directions.

Hard Topic Description

This year's hard topic theme solicits research results and technologies that are more practical and applied, and can be potentially deployed, where they can have a direct impact on improving the quality of cybersecurity in real-world systems. Deployable and impactful security generally involves the development of defensive solutions, rather than simply exposing weaknesses and vulnerabilities. While ACSAC has always solicited work on applied security, by having it as a hard topic theme we hope to put greater emphasis on deployability and impactfulness.

Deployable and impactful security needs to address key real-world challenges, which may include accuracy, runtime overhead, ground-truth labeling, human aspects, usability, and energy consumption. Deployable and impactful security does not necessarily mean building a complete system, which may not be realistic, particularly in an academic environment. However, the work needs to identify key deployment challenges, explain the deficiencies in state-of-the-art solutions, and experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches and (potential) impact to the real world. The work may involve prototyping, defining metrics, benchmark evaluation, and experimental comparison with state-of-the-art approaches in testbeds or real-world pilots, possibly with operational data. Having the deployability and impactfulness goal motivates one to focus on solving the most critical real-world challenges, which may otherwise be ignored by the fast-moving research community.