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DHS S&T Awards $576K to Rutgers University for Mobile Security Research

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DHS S&T Awards $576K to Rutgers University for Mobile Security Research

Release Date: 
August 19, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced a $576,000 cybersecurity Mobile Technology Security (MTS) research and development (R&D) award that will help secure mobile devices for the federal government. The Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R-B0015 by the Cyber Security Division awarded the contract to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey 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.”  

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. 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.”

The successful launch of this R&D project will enable S&T to provide cutting-edge, secure technologies 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 or email SandT-Cyber-Liaison@HQ.DHS.GOV.

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