Federal Cybersecurity Research Facility Begins its Work
In early October, it was announced that the National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded the non-profit MITRE Corp. a contract to manage the nation’s first federally-funded research and development center focused solely on enhancing the country’s cybersecurity. The center will be operated in partnership between the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, the state of Maryland and Montgomery County. MITRE is currently responsible for operating six other FFRDCs, all related to varying topics of study.
The center’s overall management will be provided by the federal government, but MITRE will support the mission of the initiative in three main areas: research, development, engineering and technical support, operations management and facilities management. MITRE will also receive assistance from the University of Maryland system.
The project is dedicated to identifying security solutions that will help businesses better secure their data. The center will draw on security experts from both the private and public sectors to create new defense innovations. A team of more than 40 researchers and scientists will be assisting in the creation of these solutions. One of the goals of the research team is to develop best practices and security strategies that can be implemented across platforms.
“The idea that the user community helps identify the key verticals,” Dr. Anupam Joshi, director of the University of Maryland Baltimore County Center for Cybersecurity, said in an interview with Defense News. “Then, the academic leadership and research staff and user community as a whole starts to identify the verticals, off-the-shelf options and the gaps, as well as the gaps where more research has to be done.”
So far the center has been working on identifying common security concerns that run through multiple sectors, such as healthcare and infrastructure, to create model security examples and practice guides that can be used when forming solutions. While the research agenda for the center will be set by the NCCOE, input from the private sector will be sought in order to identify major challenges facing enterprises to further work on enhancing the country’s cybersecurity.