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Mobile Security Award Given to Rutgers University by DHS S&T

A $576,000 cybersecurity Mobile Technology Security (MTS) research and development (R&D) award that will help secure mobile devices for the federal government has been awarded to Rutgers University by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

The Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R-B0015 by S&T’s Cyber Security Division awarded the contract to Rutgers University to begin R&D in mobile transactional security methods.

“The number of smart devices being used across the government continues to increase,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “And with the increase; public and private organizations face new cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. S&T is looking to create mobile security solutions that are long-term and will improve the overall cybersecurity posture.”

DHS said in its announcement today that, “The MTS award is a part of the Mobile Device Security (MDS) R&D project which aims to accelerate the adoption of secure mobility by government and private sector organizations. The MDS project is developing R&D technologies in mobile device instrumentation, transactional security methods, mobile security management tools and mobile device layer protection.

To advance mobile transactional security methods, Rutgers University will be designing, developing and deploying a data-protection architecture for mobile operating systems that uses information flow tracking to isolate data rather than isolating execution environments and applications.

“The architecture will be a component in a system called ‘SWIRLS,’ which invokes a reference to the information flows in the device,” DHS said. “In the SWIRLS system, data will be tagged based on its security context and data mixing between different security contexts will be controlled by data owner-specified policies. The result will be an infrastructure with several capabilities to simplify the trustworthy usage of mobile phones that will manage, but allow access to, data with different security requirements through the same applications without fear of any malicious or inadvertent data leakage.”

“Mobile device security needs to adapt quickly to the mobile technology industry” said Cyber Security Division MDS Program Manager Vincent Sritapan. “S&T’s MDS R&D program will be looking to create technology that secures mobile devices against current and emerging threats such as data loss and malware attacks.”

DHS said its successful launch of this R&D project “will enable S&T to provide cutting-edge, securetechnologies to the Department, government, and enterprise organizations that will create a more secure and seamless mobile experience.”

For more information, visit scitech.dhs.gov/cyber-research.

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