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DHS S&T Awards $10.4M in Mobile Security Research Contracts

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DHS S&T Awards $10.4M in Mobile Security Research Contracts

Release Date: 
September 3, 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 $10.4 million in cybersecurity Mobile Technology Security (MTS) research and development (R&D) awards to enhance the security of mobile devices for the federal government.

“Enabling a mobile and secure Federal workforce is essential to achieving mission success,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “S&T is working to develop innovative and affordable technology solutions that align with government policies and standards while protecting sensitive information from cyber adversaries.”

The mobile technology industry has continuously expanded with new devices and apps, allowing people to simplify how and where business is conducted. As the use of mobile technology continues to expand in everyday activities such as banking and customer service, mobile security has grown in importance. While increasing the use of mobile technology can enhance productivity, improved security is needed to ensure that sensitive information is not at risk to current and emerging cyber threats.

The MTS R&D award is a part of the Mobile Device Security (MDS) R&D project and will look at four technical areas – mobile device instrumentation, transactional security methods, mobile security management tools, and mobile device layer protection – with the goal of increasing the adoption of secure mobility by government and private sector organizations.

The goals of the mobile device instrumentation and mobile security management tool research areas are to develop user authentication and identity methods, such as learning user behaviors, and incorporating identity into a mobile device to keep it secure. The transactional security method research area will develop technologies to accesses data on a mobile device or over a network security system, allowing organizations to provide oversight on their devices. The mobile device layer protection research area will create unique tools to secure the layers of mobile devices — such as firmware, the operating system, applications or identity — against infections by malicious applications.

Eight awardees across the four technical topic areas of research will work closely with S&T to create and provide novel R&D solutions that can then be adopted into the government and private sector marketplace.

Mobile instrumentation research awardees:

  • HRL Laboratories, LLC; Malibu, Ca.: $2,226,124
  • Kryptowire LL; Fairfax, Va.: $1,733,216
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation; McLean, Va.: $1,765,595
  • United Technologies Researcher Center; East Hartford, Ct.: $790,968

Transactional security methods research awardees:

  • Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ: $576,000

Next-gen mobile security management tools research awardees:

  • IBM Research; Yorktown Heights, NY: $1,350,246
  • University of North Carolina; Charlotte, NC: 759,727.00

Mobile device layer protection research awardees:

  • Intelligent Automation Inc; Rockville, Md.: $1,199,427

“While initially focused on securing mobile devices used by government agencies, these efforts will help provide security for mobile devices across the entire public and private sectors,” said Vincent Sritapan, MDS Program Manager for S&T. “This project will provide progressive tools, technologies and methods that will accelerate the adoption and use of secure mobile technologies for the future.”

The successful launch of this R&D project will enable S&T to provide cutting-edge technologies to the Department, government, and enterprising organizations to help create a secure mobile experience.

For more information, visit scitech.dhs.gov/cyber-research or email SandT-Cyber-Liaison@HQ.DHS.GOV.

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