Kenny's research over the last decade has mostly been in the area of Cryptography, with a strong emphasis being on the analysis of deployed cryptographic systems and the development of provably secure solutions to real-world cryptographic problems. He co-founded the Real World Cryptography series of workshops to support the development of this broad area and to strengthen the links between academia and industry. He is co-chair of the IRTF's research group on Cryptography, CFRG. This group is working to provide expert advice to the IETF in an effort to strengthen the Internet's core security protocols.
He has been the recipient of several prizes and awards for his research. These include a Google Distinguished Paper Award for his joint work with Nadhem AlFardan presenting plaintext recovery attacks against DTLS published at NDSS 2012; an Applied Networking Research Prize from the IRTF for his work with Nadhem AlFardan on the Lucky 13 attack; and an Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies for his work with Mihir Bellare and Phil Rogaway on the Security of symmetric encryption against mass surveillance published at CRYPTO 2014.