Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks (SUSMaN) Lab           


    The Secure Usable Social Media & Networks (SUSMaN) Lab at North Carolina A&T State University, led by Dr. Mohd Anwar, conducts research on a diverse set of topics related to Security and Privacy in Online Social Networks, Cloud, and Mobile platforms, health information management, and mHealth. The interdisciplinary research approach of SUSMaN Lab provides rich and diverse learning experience to both graduate and undergraduate researchers. Our research is funded by grants from several agencies including National Science Foundation and Air Force Research Lab.


  • [Student Accomplishment] Siobahn Day, a PhD candidate, received prestigious Grace Hopper Scholarship (Fall 2017)!!!

  • [Student Accomplishment] James Brown accepted a faculty position at Forsyth Tech Community College (Fall 2017)!!!

  • [Research Grant, 2017] Dr. Anwar received an UNC Inter-institutional Grant with NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, and UNC Charlotte!!!

  • [Student Accomplishment] James Brown successfully defended master's thesis titled, "An Evolutionary Approach to Cybersecurity: Protecting Mobile Devices & Networks" (Spring 2017).

  • [Student Accomplishment] Brandon Murphy successfully completed his master's project titled, "Network Monitoring for Threat & Vulnerability Identification in a Cloud System" (Summer 2016).

  • [Student Accomplishment] Janette Archie successfully defended master's thesis titled, "TROS: The Categorization of Trust in Social Networks using Semantic Web" (Spring 2016).

  • [Student Accomplishment] Ashiq Imran completed master's thesis titled, "Ontology-based Access Control for Addressing Multi-tenancy in Health Cloud" (Fall 2015).

  • [Service] Dr. Anwar is recently appointed to serve on the NIH review panel.

  • [Service] Dr. Anwar is recently appointed on the editorial board of the International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems & Informatics.

  • [Research Grant, 2017] Dr. Anwar received a grant from NSF Beacon Center!!!

  • [Research Grant, 2017] Dr. Anwar received a grant from NSA!!!

  • [Research Grant] Dr. Anwar received a prestigious research grant from NSF's Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Program!!!

  • [Research Grant] Dr. Anwar received a research grant from Air Force Research Lab to work on Cloud Security!!!

  • [Media Coverage] Dr. Anwar and his colleague Prof. Joshi of the University of Pittsburgh show how Facebook's mutual-friend feature creates security risks and privacy concerns :When Friends Create Enemies.


  • Usable Security and Privacy Controls in Software Systems
    Research Question: How do we measure and improve the efficacy of security and privacy controls in Software Systems?

  • Trust & Reciprocity in Online Social Media
    Research Question: How can trust and reciprocity be modeled and measured in Online Social Media?

  • Smart Health and Wellbeing Systems
    Research Question: How can personal computing technologies be used for ubiquitous health and wellness magagement?

  • Agents & Ontology
    Ideas - chart

  • Location-aware Services
    Research Question: How can personal computing technologies be used for ubiquitous personalized location-aware services?

  • Auditing & Provenance in Cloud


Mohd Anwar, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Computer Science
Director, Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks Lab
Co-Director, Cyber-Human Analytics Research for Internet of Things


Mohd Anwar is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, and Director of Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks Lab. Dr.Anwar has experience and interest in designing usable secure, privacy-preserving, and trusted infrastructures, systems, and applications in different online contexts, specifically in Online Social Networks (OSN), e-Learning, and e-Health domains. His recent publication includes topology-based access control model for social network systems, trust-based approach to mitigate attacks on IP networks, access control policy models, visualization of access control policies for end-users in social network systems, and a privacy-enhancing identity management models for e-Learning.

Dr. Anwar’s research incorporates usability and human factor issues in the design and development of security and privacy solutions. His multidisciplinary research approach integrates computer science concepts with theories from social sciences (such as Goffman’s impression management theory, Roger’s protection motivation theory, communication-human information processing theory, Cognitive Behavioral Theory). Dr. Anwar serves as program chair in the IEEE International Workshop on Issues and Challenges in Social Computing and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Privacy & Health Information Management.

Recent Teaching:

  • Usable Security
  • Doctoral Research Methods
  • Secure Social Computing
  • Information Privacy and Security
  • Senior Project
  • Network Security

Research Assistants:

Siobahn Day
Research Area: Privacy in Social Networks

Siobahn is a PhD candidate.

May Almousa
Research Area: Cybersecurity Analytics

May is a 1st-year PhD student.

Bernard Aldrich
Research Area: Affective Computing

Bernard is a 1st-year PhD student.

Brittany Davis
Research Area: Cybersecurity

Brittany is a 1st-year PhD student.

Munene Kanampiu
Research Area: Intrusion Detection in Social Networks

Munene is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science with an interest in information assurance.

Rahmira Rufus
Research Area: Intrusion Detection in IoT

Rahmira is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science with an interest in information assurance. She is a teaching and research assistant for the department of computer science. Rahmira has experience in systems engineering, web development, project and contract management. Her information assurance background includes systems security design and enterprise information security architecture. Rahmira has received a master’s and bachelor’s degree in computer science, while also obtaining an information privacy and security certification.

Paul Biocco
Research Area: Authentication, Intrusion Detection, Neural Networks

Paul is pursuing an MS in Computer Science with an interest in cybersecurity and machine learning. He is a research assistant in the SUSMaN lab.

Mahsa Keshavarz
Research Area: Differential Privacy, IoT Security

Mahsa is pursuing an MS in Computer Science with an interest in differential privacy. She is a research assistant in the SUSMaN lab. Mahsa has experience in algoritthm development, Android programming, and data analytics. Her cybersecurity background includes Privacy in Smart Homes and IoT Security. Mahsa has received a bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

Mahsa's background and curriculum vitae.

K'Shjuan Davis
Research Area: Machine Learning, Source Identification, Cybersecurity

K'Shjuan is pursuing an MS in Computer Science with an interest in Cybersecurity.

Yang Liu
Research Area: Machine Learning

Yang Liu finished his first-two-year study in Henan Polytechnic University of China and came to NCA&T to peruse his Bachelor degree. He shows strong interest in coding and software application with expertise of Java, Python, Matlab and WEKA. He is currently an undergraduate research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Anwar and a member of the SUSMaN Lab.

Patrick Hines
Research Area: Pervasive Computing, IoT, Cloud

Garius Thomas
Research Area: Pervasive Computing, IoT, Cloud
Amari Vaughn
Research Area: Mobile Computing, IoT, mHealth

Prospective Students

A PhD/master's student position is immediately available!!!

"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard" - Kevin Durant. Apply only if you are talented and hardworking.

Minimum Requirements:
  • Ability to think critically and read and write well (a somewhat reasonable metric is GRE score)
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited Computer Science or related program
  • 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale

If you are interested to join SUSMaN Lab, please e-mail Dr. Anwar a 1-page persuasive essay on your suitability for doing research in any of the aforementioned projects.

Recent Publications

  • Berglund E., Mahunthakumar G., Kaza, N.,Bowen, J., Anwar, M., and Pesantez, J.: Integrated Management of Water Resources for Smart Cities with Internet of Things. Smart Cities Connect Conference, Kansas City, USA, 2018
  • Kanampiu, M. Anwar, M.:Privacy Preferences vs. Privacy Settings: An Exploratory Facebook Study. Proceedings of the International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2018), Orlando, USA, 2018.
  • Keshavarz, M., and Anwar, M.: A Differential Privacy-based Framework for Preserving Privacy in Smart Homes. ACSAC (Computer Security Applications Conference) Work-in-progress Paper, Puerto Rico, USA, 2017.
  • Anwar, M., He, W. and Yuan, X.: Cybersecurity Behavior Training for Employees. Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media & Technology, Washington DC, 2017.
  • McDaniel, M. and Anwar, M.: Zen_Space: A smartphone App for Individually-tailored Stress Management Support for College Students. International Conference for Smart Health, 2017.
  • Elhoone, H., Zhang, T., Anwar, M. and Desai, S.: Intelligent Decision Support for Cyber Additive Design and Manufacturing. Under review for ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 2017.
  • Anwar, M. and Biocco, P.: Grid Framework to Address Password Memorability Issues and Offline Password Attacks. Proceedings of International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, 52-61, Springer, Los Angeles, USA, 2017
  • Brown, J., Anwar, M. and Dozier, G.: An artificial Immunity Approach to Malware Detection in a Mobile Platform. Accepted to Springer EURASIP Journal on Information Security, 2016.
  • Alasmary, S. and Anwar, M.: Security and Privacy Challenges in IoT-based Health Cloud. Proceedings of International Conference on Computational Science & Computational Intelligence - Internet of Things & Internet of Everything Track, 2016
  • Anwar, M., He, W., Ash, I., Yuan, X., Li, L., Xu, L.: Gender Difference and Employees' Cybersecurity Behaviors. Elsevier Journal of Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 437-443, 2016.
  • Kanampiu, M., Anwar, M.: "Not All FRIENDs are Equal": Friendship Classification for Defending against Social Engineering Attacks. Journal of Cybersecurity Education, Research and Practice, 2016
  • He, W., Anwar, M., Yuan, X., Tian, X.: Developing and Using Evidence-based E-learning Videos for Cybersecurity Education. Proceedings of the KSU Conference on Cybersecurity Education, Research and Practice,2016
  • Anwar, M. and He, W. and Yuan, X.: Employment Status and Cybersecurity Behaviors. Proceedings of the International Conference on Behavioral, Economic, and Socio-cultural Computing, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, 2016.
  • Anwar, M. and Brusilovsky, P.: Privacy and Territoriality Issues in an Online Social Learning Portal. International Journal of Information Security & Privacy, 11(1), 2016
  • Brown, J., Anwar, M. and Dozier, G.: Intrusion Detection using Multi-detector Set Artificial Immune System. IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse & Integration (IRI), 2016.
  • Brown, J. and Anwar, M.: Mobile Malware Detection using Multiple Detector Set Artificial Immune System, IEEE S&P Poster, 2016
  • Brown, J., Anwar, M. and Dozier, G.: An Evolutionary General Regression Neural Network Classifier for Intrusion Detection. IEEE International Conference on Computer Communication and Networks (ICCCN), 2016.
  • Brown, J., Anwar, M. and Dozier, G.: Detecting Mobile Malware: An Artificial Immunity Approach. IEEE S&P : Bio-inspired Security, Trust, Assurance, and Resilience , 2016.
  • Williams, I., Yuan, X., McDonald, J.T., and Anwar, M.: A Method for Developing Abuse Cases and Its Evaluation. Journal of Software, 2016.
  • Anwar, M. and Yuan, Z.: Linking Tweet and Obesity. International Conference for Smart Health, 2015
  • Anwar, M. and Imran, A.: Access Control for Multi-tenancy in Cloud-based Health Information Systems. IEEE CSCloud, 2015
  • Anwar, M., Joshi, J., and Tan, J.: Anytime, Anywhere Access to Secure, Privacy-aware Healthcare Services: Issues, Approaches & Challenges. Elsevier Health Policy and Technology, pp. 299--311, 2015.
  • Anwar, M. and Doss, C.: Lighting the Mobile Information FHIR: How FHIRframe Could Drammatically Improve Mobile Health? Journal of American Health Information Management, 2015.
  • Anwar, M. and Imran, A.: A Comparative Study of Alphanumeric and Graphical Passwords for Mobile Authentication. 26th Modern Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Science Conference, 2015.
  • He, W., Ash, I., Li, L., Xu, L., Anwar, M., & Yuan, X.: A Security Behavior Model of Employees in Cyberspace. Proceedings of the 21st Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2015), 2015.
  • Doss, C., Anwar, M., & Manjaro, N.: A Context-aware Remote Health Monitoring Service for Improved Patient Care. Springer mHealth, 2015.
  • Olanya M.O., Anwar, M., He, Z., Larkin, R.P., Honeycutt, C. W.: Survival Potential of P. Infestans Sporangia in relation to Environmental Factors and Late Blight Occurence. Journal of Plant Protection Research, 2015.
  • Li, L., He, W., Ash, I., Xu, L., Anwar, M., & Yuan, X.: Does Explicit Information Security Policy Affect Employees’ Cyber Security Behavior? A Pilot Study. IEEE Conference on Enterprise Systems, 2014.
  • Anwar, M.: Leveraging Online Social Media for Capturing Observations of Daily Living and Ecological Momentary Assessment.IEEE Information Reuse and Integration, 2014.
  • Imran, A. and Anwar, M.: HIPAA Compliant Health Cloud. mHealth Conference, 2014.
  • Pelechrinis, K., Zadorozhny, V., Kounev, V., Oleshchuk, V., Anwar, M., and Lin, Y.: Automatic Evaluation of Information Provider Reliability and Expertise. Springer World Wide Web Journal, 2013.
  • Jin, L., Joshi, J., and Anwar, M.: Mutual Friend-based Attacks on Online Social Networks. Elsevier Computers & Security Journal, 2013.
  • Anwar, M., Masoumzadeh, A., and Joshi, J.B.D.: Privacy and Security in Location-Based Services. In Hassan A. Karimi, ed. Advances in Location-Based Computing and Services. Taylor & Francis, 2013.
  • Anwar, M., Hill, E., Skujins, J., Huynh, K., and Doss, C.: Kalico: A Smartphone Application for Health-smart Menu Selection within a Budget. International Conference for Smart Health, Springer LNCS, 2013.


  • LERSAIS Lab, University of Pittsburgh
  • GeoInformtics Lab, University of Pittsburgh
  • Center for Cyber Defense, NC A&T State University
  • Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences, NC A&T State University
  • Old Dominion University

Contact Us

    Email: | Phone: (336)285-2457 | Twitter: @susman_lab