Northrop Grumman to fund university research on cybersecurity tech

Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, MIT are part of new academic cybersecurity consortium

Northrop Grumman plans to spend millions on cybersecurity projects at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as part of a new research consortium.

The Northrop Grumman Cybersecurity Research Consortium (NGCRC) will include research focused on attribution, supply-chain risk, and securing critical infrastructure, according to the company. The NGCRC will initially sponsor 10 projects and provide graduate student fellowships at Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab, Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab will conduct research on:

  • Detection mechanisms for integrity attacks on sensing and control software systems.
  • Minimizing the attack window for exploitations.
  • Real-time cyber forensics.

Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security will conduct research into:

  • Improving the speed and fidelity of cyber forensics.
  • Provenance of data streams to improve attribution.
  • Decomposing Internet-scale models to do accurate experiments at a cyber-range.
  • Detection and defense against attacks in cloud-like systems.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will research:

  • Information flow and secure logging.
  • Dependable software analysis.
  • Designing a more secure computer architecture.

Robert Brammer, vice president for advanced technology and chief technology officer for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector, didn’t specify exactly how much the company would spend on the project, but said today the overall investment would be “some number of millions of dollars per year” and represented a longer-term commitment to the universities.

Brammer added that intellectual property developed uniquely by a consortium member will remain property of that organization, while products developed jointly as part of the consortium will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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