Cyber Security Challenges in Complex Systems

In today’s digital world, systems are more interconnected than ever before. These systems, composed of both software and hardware elements, span across various maturity levels and complex supply chains. As technology advances, so do cyber threats, which increasingly exploit vulnerabilities within these systems. Aside from the technological threats, global uncertainties also impose significant risks on supply chains and markets, affecting the overall cyber resilience of complex systems. The intertwined challenges of managing cyber risks in these systems require a comprehensive approach that goes beyond traditional cybersecurity measures.

The Capability Systems Centre, part of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, delves into modern systems engineering tools and techniques aimed at enhancing cyber resilience. This involves a delicate balance between safeguarding against cyber threats and ensuring commercial profitability. The centre’s interests lie in test and evaluation, capability management, cybersecurity, and AI-enabled systems, focusing on the systems engineering aspects of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity research within complex systems is multifaceted. It spans automated defence mechanisms capable of operating at machine speed to intelligent and adaptive intrusion detection systems. Although these algorithmic solutions represent significant advancements, they are still in their infancy stages and often don’t fully address the broader systems implementation challenges. Implementing these solutions across different domains and countries, each with its unique critical infrastructure, requires a tailored approach. Factors such as supply chain footprints, profit margins, societal awareness, and exposure to threats vary significantly, necessitating customized cybersecurity measures.

The research at the Capability Systems Centre emphasizes more adaptive methodologies, such as model-based systems engineering and cybersecurity awareness training. These approaches aim to analyze and improve the cyber resilience of complex systems by addressing both the technological and social aspects of cybersecurity. By focusing on education and penetration testing, researchers are tackling the diverse socio-technical challenges these systems present.

This special issue invites manuscripts from any critical infrastructure domain or multi-domain that seek to enhance cyber resilience through a systems approach. The scope covers both systems and socio-technical challenges, providing solutions for greater cyber resilience in complex systems and capabilities. Submissions are encouraged from a broad range of disciplines that address these challenges with innovative research and application strategies.

Authors interested in contributing to this special issue are encouraged to submit their manuscripts online at MDPI’s website, following a simple registration and submission process. The submission portal is designed for ease of use, facilitating authors through each step towards publication. Each manuscript undergoes a thorough single-blind peer-review process, ensuring the highest standards of scholarly integrity. Furthermore, this special issue allows for the continuous publication of accepted papers, ensuring timely dissemination of research findings.

For those considering submission, it’s important to note that manuscripts should not have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All submissions must adhere to MDPI’s guidelines for authors, ensuring well-formatted manuscripts that meet the journal’s standards for English language usage. MDPI also offers English editing services to assist authors in refining their submissions before or during the revision stages.

In conclusion, the special issue on “Cyber Security Challenges in Complex Systems” represents a vital platform for sharing innovative research and practical solutions to enhance the cyber resilience of complex systems. By addressing these challenges from a systems perspective, the issue aims to contribute significantly to the field of cybersecurity, offering insights and strategies that are crucial for safeguarding our interconnected world.

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