Professor Hinrichs's research interests revolve around network security. Specifically, she is interested in the issues that arise from trying to understand, implement, and maintain a security posture. Her work at Cisco Systems involved creating tools to translate from a higher-level security policy description to a multi-device implementation. She is now looking into related problems of auditing a security posture and evaluating it against a security policy specification.
The requirements of enforcing a security policy are changing. The network environment is ever more dynamic with DHCP and laptops. The trust relationships in a corporate environment become ever more transient with the increased use of outsourcing, temporary employees, and partnerships. Even with a static work force, infected machines need to be temporarily treated differently until the infection is resolved. See the Network Access Control (NAC) initiative from Cisco and the Network Access Protection (NAP) effort from Microsoft for two frameworks that implement quarantine systems.