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New Cybersecurity Research Consortium Launched

Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), will join Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC), a leading global security company, to form the Cybersecurity Research Consortium to address the nation's most critical cyber threats.

The research initiative, launched yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., is designed to accelerate the transfer of technology from the lab to commercial use. The consortium will take on some of the world's leading cyber problems including attribution in cyberspace, supply chain risk, and securing critical infrastructure networks. The NGCRC will initially sponsor ten projects and provide graduate student fellowships while continuing to expand the portfolio of research to cover the many different aspects of cybersecurity. Members of the NGCRC will coordinate research projects, share information and best practices, develop curricula, author joint case studies and other publications, and provide a greater number of learning opportunities and applications for students and the defense community overall.

The universities were chosen for their long-term, leading-edge research in cybersecurity and their national standing in this important arena.

"In this consortium, researchers from Carnegie Mellon CyLab will work side-by-side with Northrop Grumman researchers to address critical real-world challenges by transitioning and further developing CyLab technologies," said CyLab Technical Director Adrian Perrig, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon.

"Carnegie Mellon developed the first federally funded cybersecurity program, the CERT-CC (Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center), in 1989 in response to the well-known Internet worm incident the previous year. As a result of this first major cybersecurity incident, CyLab has grown to be one of the largest cybersecurity academic research centers in the world," said Robert Brammer, chief technology officer, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

"The MIT CSAIL team approaches the cyber security problem from multiple perspectives — how to design software systems from the ground up to be secure and dependable, how to provide a security audit trail that captures every system event that is related to information security, and how to design new hardware architecture so that it can protect software," said Victor Zue, director of MIT CSAIL.

"The Cybersecurity Research Consortium is a wonderful new initiative for CERIAS," said Gene Spafford, the Purdue CERIAS executive director. "For more than 15 years, Purdue has been the leading academic group in research and education in information security. Our mission has been to build collaborative relationships with industry, government and other academic entities to advance the state of cybersecurity through basic and applied research while serving as a resource to the global community. We welcome this opportunity for new collaborations and inspirations and look forward to continuing to innovate at the forefront of information protection and privacy."

"Purdue's CERIAS is the largest academic security center in the United States and has won many awards for research and educational excellence in cybersecurity," NGC's Brammer said. "Purdue has produced about 25 percent of the Ph.D.'s in cybersecurity in the past several years and has developed many successful security inventions."

"We have been working in the cybersecurity domain for more than 20 years, and I have never seen the threats so intense" Brammer said. "To help mitigate these threats, we must bring together industry and our academic institutions. By combining the creative intellectual freedoms of academia with the full spectrum capabilities within Northrop Grumman, we can accelerate the pace of taking novel ideas to significant application. We have an obligation to our clients and our nation to invest in new technologies to get ahead of the cybersecurity threat. This consortium will serve to organize some important US organizations to help increase our nation's security in cyberspace."

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