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NSF Awards $76M to Support Interdisciplinary Cybersecurity Research

December 5, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced $76 million in research grants through its Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program to study the scientific, engineering and socio-technical aspects of cybersecurity.

The grants support 241 projects across 36 states and 129 institutions, and touch on all aspects of the field—hardware, software, network security, human incentives and behaviors, and the integration of computation with the physical world, according to a press release.

“Examining the fundamentals of security and privacy from a multidisciplinary, sociotechnical perspective can lead to fundamentally new ways to design, build and operate cyber systems, protect existing infrastructure, and motivate and educate individuals about cybersecurity,"Jim Kurose, NSF assistant director for computer and information science and engineering, said in a statement.

The SaTC program takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive approach to cybersecurity research, development and education. The program also emphasizes the need for sociotechnical approaches that consider human, social, organizational and economic factors involved in the creation, maintenance and operation of secure systems and infrastructure.

"No solution for securing cyberspace is complete without the integration of research that examines how people—from the users of internet commerce to the attackers who endanger networks—behave in the complicated systems that constitute the internet," Fay Lomax Cook, NSF assistant director for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, said. "Technology and behavior are intrinsically linked in the world of cybersecurity, and NSF's support for interdisciplinary research reflects that."

Three new large projects, each supported by $3 million grants, will investigate emerging areas of interest: the relationship between the Internet of Things and humans, the development of verifiably secure hardware, and cryptographic methods to improve privacy.

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