23 Aug 2013

NSF Invests $20 Million in Cyber-Security

America’s National Science Foundation will issue three new Frontier awards to support academic research projects and collaborative education activities that tackle cloud security, privacy issues and the security of health-related systems and networks.

An amount of $20 million will add to the NSF’s already significant contribution that supports approximately 110 research projects in 33 countries and encourages major multi-discipline, and multi-institution projects.

"NSF's investments in foundational research will transform our capacity to secure personal privacy, financial assets, and national interests. These new Frontier awards will enable innovative approaches to cybersecurity, with potential benefits to all sectors of our economy."said Farnam Jahanian, NSF's assistant director for computer and information science and engineering (CISE)."Cybersecurity is one of the most significant economic and national security challenges facing our nation today."

Among the most significant NSF awards is the $10 million for the Trustworthy Health and Wellness – a project initiated 5 years ago involving researchers from Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  

The project focuses on securing medical data, including storing, analyzing, sharing, accessing and controlling patient data collected by hi-tech medical scanners and sensors. This kind of data and medical insurance is precious. Not to mention insulin pumps devices or baby monitors that can have disastrous repercussions if some malware enters the medical systems.

Apart from securing the medical online system, the NSF is looking to integrate cloud technology with its lightness and swiftness with the sensitive online environment, and improve Web privacy notice and choice and help people understand the implications of privacy policies.