DHS S&T Awards $7.8 Million for Cyber Physical System Security Research


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced the award of five contracts totaling $7.8 million for research on technologies to help defend against attacks on cyber physical systems. Awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00017, these projects are part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s larger Cyber Physical Systems Security (CPSSEC) program.

The awards announced today help to address inherent vulnerabilities and strengthen security in the areas of automotive security, building control systems, and medical device security. Award recipients include:

  • New York University: $1.4 million
  • University of Michigan: $1.2 million
  • HRL Laboratories, LLC, of Malibu, California: $2.5 million
  • Kansas State University:$900,000
  • Medical Device Innovation, Safety and Security Consortium of The Bronx, New York: $1.8 million

“In our daily lives, we use a complex network of devices – in our cars, homes, offices and hospitals – all of which require attention from a homeland security perspective,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “S&T aims to be vigilant against these potential threats and address security in a serious way.”

Advances in networking, computing, sensing, and control systems have enabled a broad range of Cyber Physical Systems devices, from the smart power grid to the Internet of Things. Driven by functional requirements and fast moving markets, these systems are being designed and deployed quickly. Design choices made today will directly impact the Nation’s industries and critical infrastructure sectors over the next several decades. The newly announced contracts will focus research and development efforts in these technical areas:

  • Automotive Security: Build an infrastructure for secure and reliable update systems for government and privately-owned vehicles
  • Building Control Systems: Develop early-warning systems as well as a layered architecture to enforce security and safety requirements in the event of a cyber-physical attack
  • Medical Device Security: Support the creation of a safe and secure national biomedical device network and an automated risk management framework to integrate security in all phases of the device life cycle

“This inter connectivity brings significant conveniences but also introduces new cyber threats,” said S&T CPSSEC Program Manager Dr. Dan Massey. “The goal of the CPSSEC program is to ensure secure designs become an operational requirement.”

S&T CSD is partnering with the United Kingdom’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Defence Research and Development Canada and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency on these efforts.

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

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