National Security Agency renews Science of Security Lablet at NC State

student with computer

NC State has again been awarded a Science of Security Lablet by the National Security Agency (NSA) to continue its work in developing the cybersecurity and privacy breakthroughs needed to safeguard cyberspace.

The Science of Security Lablet at NC State was established in 2012. NSA this spring announced that NC State would again host a Lablet for an additional five years under a new contract, with $2.5 million in funding.

Science of Security Lablets are multi-disciplinary labs at leading U.S. research institutions that are part of NSA’s Science of Security and Privacy (SoS) Initiative. SoS promotes security and privacy science as a recognized field of research and encourages rigorous research methodologies.

Under the latest contract, the University of Kansas, Vanderbilt University and the International Computer Science Institute will join three of the original SoS Lablets established in 2012: Carnegie-Mellon University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and NC State.

The NC State Lablet was tasked with working on five “hard problems” when it was established:

Scalability and Composability: The challenge of this problem is to develop methods enabling the construction of secure systems with known security properties.

Policy-Governed Secure Collaboration: Projects addressing this hard problem seek to develop methods to express and enforce normative requirements and policies for handling data with differing usage needs and among users in different authority domains.

Predictive Security Metrics: The challenge of this problem is to develop security metrics and models capable of predicting whether or confirming that a given cyber system preserves a given set of security properties (deterministically or probabilistically), in a given context.

Resilient Architectures: The challenge of developing the means to design and analyze system architectures that deliver required service in the face of compromised components.

Human Behavior: Modeling human behavior is a daunting task, and projects addressing this hard problem seek to develop models of human behavior (of both users and adversaries) that enable the design, modeling and analysis of systems with specified security properties.

Those same problems will continue as the focus for the next five years, said Dr. Laurie Williams, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science and principal investigator of the NC State Lablet.


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