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University institutes new interdisciplinary cybersecurity research center
Each year, 10 million people are victims of identity theft, and recent reports indicate a 158 percent increase in cyberattacks. At the same time, the world is increasingly moving to digital records and transactions, and conducting more global business than ever before.
How can people and organizations ensure that their digital information is secure? What polices and technologies are needed to protect that sensitive information from malicious attacks? What role do people play in exposing themselves to these attacks, and how can organizations safeguard against insider threats?
These are the kinds of questions that will be tackled by a new interdisciplinary research center at Syracuse University. The Center for Information and Systems Assurance and Trust (CISAT) is currently developing its research agenda and reviewing proposals under the direction of its co-directors, Scott Bernard, School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor of Practice; and Shiu-Kai Chin, Meredith Professor at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS).
“As our physical and cyber worlds become ever more intertwined, establishing and maintaining the trustworthiness of cyber-physical systems is essential,” Chin says. “Trustworthiness spans the domains of computer hardware, software, protocols, networks, laws, management and policy. Because of the breadth and depth of CISAT faculty, CISAT is well positioned to realize its purpose to improve the trustworthiness of cyber-physical systems.”
“CISAT is a unique new resource at Syracuse University, bringing together nearly 20 faculty from across the University who do research and practice in the important areas of systems security, risk management and information assurance,” Bernard says. “CISAT strengthens Syracuse’s reputation as a leader in this field and provides new outreach opportunities to business and government partners.”
CISAT promotes the exploration of new ideas in information and systems assurance and trust by bringing together faculty from six schools and colleges at SU: the iSchool, LCS, Syracuse University College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Whitman School of Management and The College of Arts and Sciences, which all share a common vision of improving society through the creation of trustworthy systems.
The center emerged from a cyber security conference, sponsored in June 2009 by SU and JPMorgan Chase. The conference brought together more than 100 senior researchers from academia, government and the corporate sector who discussed some of the greatest cybersecurity challenges facing the nation and the world.
The new center draws on the expertise of researchers who have diverse backgrounds in the social sciences, law, technology, computer science, engineering, management, policy and communications. In addition, CISAT engages with non-academic partners including the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Information Directorate and other agencies and companies to form a community of practice in information and systems assurance and trust.