NSF targets tech security

Trusted Computing announcement

The National Science Foundation is creating a new research program to raise the basic level of security in commercial technology used by government and the public.

The Trusted Computing program will aim to foster research on making information systems able to withstand internal and external security breaches.

"As computer systems and computer networks are increasingly used to create, store, process and transmit information that is critical to citizens, industry, government and academia, the design and development of security, safe software and systems has become a fundamental problem," the Sept. 6 announcement states.

The basic problem is that as new and upgraded software is delivered more and more quickly to the commercial market, developers are not taking the time to put the products through the kind of testing and verification needed to ensure a secure product. The Trusted Computing program seeks to establish research that will change the way software developers think about security.

"It is a necessity to ensure that future information systems not only behave as expected, but, more importantly, continue to produce expected behavior and are not susceptible to subversion," the announcement states.

Research proposals are due by Dec. 5, and in years to come will be due the first Wednesday in December. Between $4 million and $6 million will be available for 20 to 25 grants each year. The grants will last for two to five years, and will be for $80,000 to $500,000 per award depending on the number of groups involved in the proposal.

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