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DHS S&T Awards $2.7M to Colorado State University for Cyber Security Research

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DHS S&T Awards $2.7M to Colorado State University for Cyber Security Research

Release Date: 
September 28, 2015

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

Washington, DC – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded a contract to Colorado State University to create technology to defend against large and sophisticated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The $2.7 million project is to work on NetBrane, a Software Defined DDoS Protection project. This was awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00017  and will become part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s larger Distributed Denial of Service Defenses (DDoSD) program.

DDoS attacks are used to render key resources unavailable. A classic DDoS attack might disrupt an organization’s website and temporarily block a consumer’s ability to access the site. A more strategic attack makes a key resource inaccessible during a critical period. Prominent DDoS attacks have been conducted against financial institutions, news organizations, providers of internet security resources, and government agencies. Any organization that relies on network resources is considered a potential target and the current environment offers many advantages to the attacker.

“Developing and applying security technology on our nation’s networks is key to protecting sensitive information,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “This project will provide novel solutions for making sure information not held in the cloud is secure.”

While cloud-based security services offer some protection from DDoS, current solutions cannot benefit everyone. Many organizations, such as government, military and financial organizations, need to tightly control their data, which is incompatible with cloud services. To bridge this gap, Colorado State University will build NetBrane (network membrane), a defense service that takes advantage of the desirable properties of cloud-based services, but allows customers to keep their data locally.

“The NetBrane project develops a general situational awareness capability with specific application to DDoS,” said Dr. Ann Cox, Cyber Security Division DDoSD Program Manager. “We anticipate that it will have future applications to other cybersecurity problems.”

S&T's Cyber Security Division is partnering with the United Kingdom's Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on this effort.

With the success of launching this R&D project, S&T looks forward to securing the nation’s networks by anticipating and defending against DDoS attacks.

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

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