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Science and Technology News Release: DHS S&T Awards $750K to InferLink to Enhance Search Functionality of IMPACT Cybersecurity Research Database

News Release: DHS S&T Awards $750K to InferLink to Enhance Search Functionality of IMPACT Cybersecurity Research Database

Release Date: 
January 16, 2018

For Immediate Release
DHS S&T Press Office, (202) 254-2385

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a $750,000 contract to El Segundo, California-based InferLink Corporation to develop an advanced search functionality for the Information Marketplace for Policy and Analysis of Cyber-risk & Trust (IMPACT) cybersecurity research portal.

The award was made through the Small Business Innovation Research Other Agencies Technology Solutions program. The project is being managed by the S&T Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) IMPACT project; part of S&T’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.

IMPACT supports the global cyber-risk research and development (R&D) community as its members develop solutions for cyber-risk and infrastructure security issues. IMPACT coordinates the collection of and develops real-world data and information-sharing capabilities—including tools, models and methodologies—between and among academic, industry and government cybersecurity researchers. By addressing the operational, legal and administrative costs that often impede innovation, IMPACT lowers the barrier to entry for cybersecurity R&D by providing this data to researchers.

“Ensuring researchers have the most relevant information and data will greatly strengthen their ability to pinpoint emerging cybersecurity issues and speed development of new solutions,” said CSD Director Douglas Maughan. “With an enhanced search function, IMPACT will deliver to these researchers more relevant data and timely informational resources they can use to make key decisions in all phases of their research.”

InferLink’s project,“Advanced Indexing and Search for Efficient Information Discovery” will extend its ActiveSearch technology—a novel search framework combining natural-language processing and a massive description and identification library—to support user searches in an intuitive fashion through collections of resources such as datasets, software tools and analytics on the IMPACT portal.

“Enhancing the ‘findability’ of technical data for R&D is one of the most impactful ways to advance development of new, cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. The growing number of informational resources of varying quality poses a challenge to efficiently and effectively connecting this cybersecurity supply and demand with researchers,” said IMPACT Program Manager Erin Kenneally. “InferLink will leverage its novel semantic search framework to support enhancement of both targeted and organic search results that will support R&D in a wide-range of cybersecurity problem areas.”

InferLink will integrate this capability to drive the search experience within the IMPACT portal. As such Inferlink will:

  • Provide better semantic search functionality for IMPACT. For example, the semantic search will identify terms that characterize a resource, so a query’s terms do not have to exactly match the terms in the resource’s metadata.
  • Broaden the ways users can find relevant data by enabling novice users to discover resources based on a cybersecurity R&D need that does not require prior understanding of the data.
  • Ensure the search system has sub-second response time.

S&T’s Cyber Security Division mission is to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the Internet by developing and delivering new technologies, tools and techniques to defend against cyberattacks. The division conducts and supports technology transitions and leads and coordinates R&D among the R&D community, which includes DHS customers, government agencies, the private sector and international partners. For more information about CSD, visit https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-research.

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