Professor Nahrstedt's interest in security comes from her work in multimedia systems. Due to the time constraints of multimedia systems, the security issues differ from those in more standard Internet communication. She has pioneered the area of Quality of Protection to explore the tradeoffs between multimedia performance and communication security.
As a solution to providing easy and flexible integration of data transmission security into multimedia streaming applications, Klara Nahrstedt's research group has designed and developed the Distributed Security Framework for Multimedia Transmission (DSFMT). DSFMT is an object-oriented framework that can be used to get a variety of security protocols, encryption/decryption schemes, network protocol suites, and multimedia applications to work together in a flexible way. DSFMT can be configured to work in a variety of scenarios: high-security, multiple-sender military video conferencing; medium-security but high-performance commercial video-on-demand on the Internet (single sender); a smart room application that streams video at different qualities (and possibly security requirements) to a set of receivers, and so on.