Smart contracts for access monitoring

Project summary

The objective of an access control model is to allow only authorised users to access system resources in an authorised way based on the access policies. After receiving an access request, the credentials of the user requesting access are compared with access policies to determine the access decision.

However, access policies are not perfect. Hence, if an unauthorised user managed to override access policies, there is no way to detect or prevent malicious actions during access sessions. This issue exists in both traditional and dynamic access control models in which, if an attacker managed to deceive the access control manager and was granted access, there is no way to protect system resources. Therefore, there is a need to implement access monitoring to detect and prevent abnormal activities throughout access sessions.

One of the efficient solutions to provide fast and efficient access monitoring is smart contracts. Smart contracts refer to computer protocols that digitally facilitate the verification, control, or execution of an agreement. Smart contracts provide an accurate, secure, safe, and fast way to execute and manage processes/transactions. Utilising smart contracts for tracking and monitoring access sessions will allow utilising security features of blockchain technology which can provide an efficient and fast approach for detecting and preventing malicious activities on time.

Research objectives

Research questions

This project is supported by endpoint protection specialist CrowdStrike. The PhD candidate will work closely with the research team in CrowdStrike.

Research centre

Data Science Research Centre 

Entry requirements

For our PhD programmes, we normally expect you to have a first-class or upper-second (2:1) honours degree and preferably a masters degree from a UK university or qualifications that we consider to be equivalent.

International students may also need to meet our English language requirements. Find out more about our entry requirements for international students. 

How to apply

Please contact Dr Hany Atlam ( in the first instance for more information on how to apply.

The University has four starting points each year for MPhil/PhD programmes (September, January, March and June). Applications should be made at least three months before you would want to start your programme. Please note that, if you require a visa, additional time will be required. 


Self-funded by student. There is a range of options that may be available to you to help you fund your PhD.


A head shot of Ovidiu Bagdasar
Professor of Mathematics

Dr Ovidiu Bagdasar is the Erasmus Coordinator for Mathematics and Computing. His research in Discrete Mathematics, Optimisation, and Maths Anxiety has been disseminated in numerous international journals and conferences. Ovidiu also works with colleagues and technology companies to improve standards in mathematics education within the University, and beyond.