DHS S&T Directorate Awards 34 Contracts for Cybersecurity Research, Development

Thirty-four contracts totaling $40 million were awarded this week to 29 academic and research organizations by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) to research and develop solutions to cybersecurity challenges.

The contracts were awarded by DHS’ S&T Cyber Security Division (CSD) under a Jan. 2011 Cyber Security R&D Broad Agency Announcement (BAA 11-02) that solicited proposals for 14 Technical Topic Areas (TTAs) aimed at improving security in federal networks and across the Internet while developing new and enhanced technologies for detecting, preventing and responding to cyber attacks on the nation’s critical information infrastructure.

BAA 11-02 elicited white paper responses from more than 1,000 offerors. Following an extensive review and down-select process, more than 200 offerors were invited to submit full proposals for a final review. And of those, new awards were made to the organizations that were announced Thursday.

Many of the awards involve several organizations “teamed to conduct the planned research,” according to the S&T Cyber Security Division. “These organizations will conduct cyber security research and developments that result inknowledge products and deployable security solutions that advance understanding of cyber risks, as directed by the President in the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

The 14 technical topic areas are:

  • Software Assurance;
  • Enterprise-Level Security Metrics;
  • Usable Security;
  • Insider Threat;
  • Resilient Systems and Networks;
  • Modeling of Internet Attacks;
  • Network Mapping and Measurement;
  • Incident Response Communities;
  • Cyber Economics;
  • Digital Provenance;
  • Hardware-Enabled Trust;
  • Moving Target Defense;
  • Nature-Inspired Cyber Health; and
  • Software Assurance MarketPlace

Dr. Douglas Maughan, director of DHS’ S&T Cyber Security Division, told Homeland Security Today “The work to be accomplished through these contracts will significantly advance cyber security and support the mission of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Cyber Security Division to create a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment.”

“Our goal,” said Maughan, “is to transform the cyber-infrastructure to be resistant to attack so that critical national interests are protected from catastrophic damage and our society can confidently adopt new technological advances.”

The Cyber Security Division convened a meeting October 9-11 in Washington, DC of the principal investigators of the 34 funded projects and their international co-funding partners for a kickoff meeting where they were able to discuss how all of the collective work will come together over the lifespan of each project’s research, development and technology transition to significantly advance cyber security.

Maughan explained at the investigators’ meeting that the contracts are intended to “deliver both near-term and medium-term solutions to develop new and enhanced technologies for the detection of, prevention of and response to cyber attacks on the nation’s critical information infrastructure, based on customer requirements; to perform research and development aimed at improving the security of existing deployed technologies and to ensure the security of new emerging cybersecurity systems,” and “to facilitate the transfer of these technologies into operational environments.”

The 34 Cyber Security Division contracts are intended to develop knowledge products and deployable security solutions advancing the understanding of cyber risks were awarded pursuant to the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, which is an implementing component of the National Strategy for Homeland Security that is complemented by the National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets.

According to DHS, “The purpose of this document is to engage and empower Americans to secure the portions of cyberspace that they own, operate, control, or with which they interact. Securing cyberspace is a difficult strategic challenge that requires coordinated and focused effort from our entire society — the federal government, state and local governments, the private sector and the American people.”

In his address to the principal investigators’ meeting this month, Maughan emphasized that “Cybersecurity  research is a key area of innovation needed to support our future,” and that “DHS S&T continues with an aggressive cyber security research agenda” that involves “Working to solve the cyber security problems of our current (and future) infrastructure and systems; working with academe and industry to improve research tools and datasets; [and] looking at future R&D agendas with the most impact for the nation, including education.”

Maughan concluded that the Cyber Security Division “Need[s] to continue [with a] strong emphasis on technology transfer and experimental deployments.”

The 34 contracts that were awarded this week went to the following organizations:

  • Applied Visions, Inc, Northport, NY
  • Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Def-Logix, Provo, UT
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Georgia Tech Research Corp., Atlanta, GA
  • HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, CA
  • IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, NY
  • International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA
  • ITT Advanced Engineering & Sciences Division, Rome, NY
  • Kestrel Technology, LLC, Palo Alto, CA
  • Merit Network Inc, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI
  • Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  • Northrop Grumman Information Systems, McLean, VA
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
  • Pacific NW National Laboratory, Richland, WA
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Raytheon BBN Technologies, Cambridge, MA
  • Rutgers University – New Brunswick Campus, New Brunswick, NJ
  • The Trustees of Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Trustees of Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
  • Trustees of Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute, Marina del Rey, CA

Four of these contracts include co-funding from international partners – two from the United Kingdom and two from Australia. Negotiations are currently underway for additional international co-funding from partner agencies in Canada, Sweden and The Netherlands.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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